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2011 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study Released

April 4, 2012

This year’s study found that 53 percent of participating institutions experienced a decline in freshman enrollment and nearly 45 percent of institutions lost total undergraduate enrollment from fall 2010 to fall 2011. Average net tuition revenue in 2010 increased 5.4 percent over the prior year, a return to pre-recession rates, but is projected to have a lower growth rate in 2011 – partially due to the drop in enrollment. The average freshman tuition discount rate in 2011 is estimated to have reached 42.8 percent.

The 2011 Tuition Discounting Study (TDS) is based on data from 400 private, non-profit institutions and measures tuition discount rates and other indicators of institutional grant awards to undergraduates attending their institutions. The 2011 TDS contains charts and tables on:

  • changes in freshman and total undergraduate enrollment
  • the tuition discount rate for freshmen and all undergraduates
  • the distribution of participating institutions’ freshman discount rates
  • freshman discounting by acceptance rate and yield rate
  • percentage of institutions that increased or decreased the discount rate
  • change in net tuition revenue
  • percentage of freshmen receiving institutional grants
  • average institutional grant as a percentage of tuition and fees
  • percentage of institutional grants funded by endowment
  • percentage of grant dollars awarded that met students’ financial need

The report includes two appendices, one with data from all institutions that participated in the NACUBO Tuition Discounting Surveys from 2001 to 2011, and another appendix with data from just those institutions that have 10 or 3 years of consecutive survey participation. Data are organized by NACUBO constituent group, Carnegie classification, and endowment level. Tables on selected demographics such as region, women’s colleges, and religious institutions are also included.

The 2011 Tuition Discounting Study is available for purchase for $50.00 for members and $200.00 for non-members.

Participants receive a complimentary copy of the report that can be accessed by following the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the “My NACUBO” button on the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Type in your institutional e-mail address and NACUBO membership password in the spaces provided (or you can select the Forgot Password link to reset your password).
  4. On the next page, select the link to NACUBO Online Research Publications.
  5. Click on the 2011 Tuition Discounting Study link in the left column. (You can click the “+” sign to expand the full report to view and print subsections of the report). All of the materials for this study will be displayed in the center pane.


Natalie Pullaro Davis
Manager, Research and Policy Analysis