This has been going on for years in secret, as institutions track the pricing of their peers (when I was in IR, the most common question I heard was, “What are other schools doing?”) and by negotiating privately with admitted students. Now it’s finally in the open:
Escalating the heated battle for students, some private colleges are offering to match public in-state tuition.
Oglethorpe University near Atlanta will match the tuition of any state flagship university for high-achieving students, and Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh said last week it will charge Pennsylvania residents the same price as local public universities, plus a $3,000 scholarship to boot.
The discounts aren’t limited to private schools. Public universities in Michigan, South Dakota and Nebraska now let students from other states pay as if they were locals. The University of Maine in Orono matches neighbors’ in-state rates. Public schools regularly charge two or three times as much—or more—for non-residents.