Elizabethtown Introduces Tuition Transparency


From Etown’s website:

Q: What does Tuition Transparency mean and why is the College doing this?

A: The traditional practice of high tuition and high discount is confusing to students and families. National studies report that more than 50 percent of high school seniors and parents surveyed say that a high “sticker price” will cause them to eliminate a school from consideration during their college search. Although the College has consistently worked in past years to make an E-town education affordable by funding scholarship and need-based grant aid programs, we believe that the Tuition Transparency program will provide a clearer picture to students and their families.

Tuition Transparency means that you will know the real cost of tuition at Elizabethtown College. The College will reduce the cost of tuition by 32 percent to $32,000 for the 2019-2020 academic year – the approximate tuition 10 years ago. Families considering Elizabethtown should not be discouraged, based on our “sticker price.”

The College will continue to provide merit-based scholarships and need-based grants but at an amount proportional to the reduced tuition cost.

I have a feeling this will be similar to JCPenny trying to do this a couple years ago. It’s a great idea that is good for the students. But they no longer feel like they are getting a deal, they are just buying something worth $10,000 less a year. And I would guess that the college could use the money from the probably small but significant number of full pay students. They just got a huge price cut.


I agree. It may all be hokum but getting a “merit scholarship” is very good for a student’s self esteem and confidence. It is the kind of thing that can tip the scales in favor of a school. I don’t necessarily think thats a bad thing either.

Most importantly,32k is the cost of a Penn State education. Therefore, a student could have a private school education at the same cost as the flagship.

@MYOS1634 That is the cost of OOS tuition for Penn State. In-state tuition is around $18k. PA residents can now attend Penn State, with room and board, for about the same cost as just the tuition at Etown.

yes, indeed, that was my point: instate COA at PSU is similar to tuition at Elizabethtown, so that either scholarships or commuting make it a very viable choice for most PA residents.
(Penn State OOS is about 50k so you’re right, Elizabethtown is also competitive with that, but I don’t think there’s much overlap in both markets).
Of course Penn State may want to halt its slide in USNWR rankings by focusing a bit more on economic diversity ie., providing better financial aid so that working and middle class residents can afford to go, but in the meanwhile, Elizabethtown has become a very good choice financially-speaking.

Thank you for posting this article. Meshes nicely with your post yesterday regarding an article published in The Atlantic.

Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania is a rolling admissions school which offers very practical majors including business, education & health professions. It has about 1,700 students (about 60% female/40% male) of which 85% live on campus.

Also, Elizabethtown offers rolling admissions and practical majors such as business, education & health professions. 85% of the 1,700+ students reside on campus. About 60% female student population.

P.S. Applications to this private school should soar next admissions cycle due to publicity revealing transparent pricing, rolling admissions & sought after majors.

“… Instead of charging a high tuition that gets discounted by aid provided by the college, Elizabethtown is moving to more of a real-cost model, which it calls tuition transparency. Under that model, it is setting tuition for the 2019-20 academic year at $32,000, down from the $46,940 this year.” …

Possibly more info.


The cost to attend PSU in state is conversatively estimated at between $31,500 - $34,700. I have a next door neighbor that actually has two kids enrolled at the cost of $70,000 (yes -residents of PA).