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Private colleges and discount, 2020

Note: A reader pointed out that there are two years of data in this set (Fall 2021 enrolling data and Fall 2020 Financial Aid data).  In all probability, this will cause discount rates to be a bit lower on this view than in reality.  As always, don't take or make any important decisions based on information on a free website. Discount rate is a hot topic among private college leaders, and although it's an interesting measure, it's not as helpful as some people might think it is.  And it's a little hard to grasp and hard to explain.  But I'm going to try. Discount rate can be helpful when measuring yourself against yourself over time; and it can be helpful when measuring yourself against similar peers.  But as a thing unto itself?  Pretty worthless, actually.  Here's why. First some definitions: Discount rate measures the amount of institutional aid you award as a function of how much gross tuition you charge.  If you collect $10,000,000 in tuition, and award $4,
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