University of Arizona Undercuts Peers with Steep Non-Resident Tuition Cuts
Charge less to draw customers?
It’s a pretty successful pricing strategy, at least in the short-term.
Sure, marketers want to position themselves as providers of value. But how can you do that when customers don’t see a need for change? In a mature market, you stir up the water, hoping to recoup the initial loss over time (by up-selling additional services).
It’s risky, no doubt, turning your solution into a commodity. Unless you want to be waylaid by the next leap forward (or turned into a niche player), you have to cut costs at some point. And the University of Arizona has apparently adopted this lesson.
This week, the school’s James E. Rogers College of Law announced that it is slashing its annual non-residential tuition from roughly $42,000 to $29,000, which translates into 31% savings for students. The school added that its in-state tuition will remain around $24,000.
This is a big move for the university. Traditionally, out-of-state tuition is a cash cow for law schools. For example, Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law charges in-state students $30,526, while out-of-state residents pay $48,962, according to U.S. News and World Report. Rogers is looking to entice out-of-state students with lower tuition.
It’s certainly a tempting proposition. The Rogers College of Law, which ranks #40 in the latest U.S. News rankings, now offers the lowest state school tuition among Top 40 schools. At $29,000 annually, Rogers’ tuition is far lower than schools like Michigan State ($37,080), the University of Florida ($41,545), the University of Texas ($49,244), and UCLA ($54,356). Even more, its $29,000 tuition will be a bargain compared to private schools like Yale ($54,650), Stanford ($52,530), and Notre Dame ($48,730).
Oh…and Rogers’ out-of-state tuition will be nearly $13,000 less than tuition at rival Arizona State. In fact, Arizona’s out-of-state tuition will only be $3,000 more than Arizona State’s in-state tuition.
By using lower tuition to stretch its boundaries, the University of Arizona hopes to attract stronger students and avoid the enrollment declines plaguing most other law schools. “We’re responding to the market in changing times,” Marc Miller, dean of the James E. Rogers College of Law, tells the Arizona Daily Star. “We’re not trying to undermine other schools.” Instead, Miller hopes that slashing prices “will have more students looking at us more seriously early on.”
Miller adds that the out-of-state reduction better reflects the true cost of law school, which often don’t include scholarships and financial aid.
This isn’t the only big change that the University of Arizona has made to its law curriculum. Earlier this month, the school announced that it would be the first school to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in law.
Alas, don’t expect this to be the last tuition cut. Last year, the University of Iowa’s College of Law sliced its tuition by 16.4 percent. And schools like Brooklyn Law have followed suit. With small class sizes becoming the new norm, expect this tuition-trimming trend to accelerate in the coming year.
Source: Arizona Daily Star
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