Actual Costs vs. Sticker Prices: Rare Marketing Message at Le Moyne College
How often have you heard someone in higher education, especially in the private sector, complain that too many students (and their parents) are scared away from considering private sector enrollment by high prices that create “sticker price” shock? Why don’t more people, the complaint goes, understand how much financial aid can reduce the “sticker price”?
Maybe, just maybe, one reason more people don’t get past official “tuition and costs” pages is simple: Those pages most often contain only the official sticker price, usually with a subhead that says something like “Undergraduate Tuition an Fees.” That’s not marketing smart.
Learning a college’s true cost is a top task for most potential students. This usual “tuition and costs” page doesn’t help anyone complete that task.
The problem with most “tuition and costs” pages…
This week we searched about for “tuition and costs” web pages on Google. Skipping the advetising responses, we started opening each reference in search of a school that did not just list the sticker price “tuition and costs” info on that page. We were searching for a school that included a simple marketing element: what was the average amount that a typical student actually paid at the school? On the 4th page we came upon the first school that did anthing like this: Le Moyne College.
The Le Moyne effort could be stronger. “The average financial aid for the freshmen class is $25,030” is within the first paragraph that opens the page. People who scan direct to the “How much will it cost heading?” just under that paragraph might miss the aid amount and go direct to the sticker prices listed. And “How much will it cost” really isn’t accurate. Most students at Le Moyne will pay much less that that. Parents are in search of the actual and more affordable cost not the sticker price.
Edit to increase marketing strength…
A simple edit for the opening paragraph will increase the marketing impact of the most important element:
- “The averge finanical aid for the freshmen class is $25,030, an amount that includes Le Moyne scholarships, need-based grants from the college, and federal and state grants and loans. The College has earned recognition from the editors at Barron’s and U.S. News and Word Report as one of America’s ‘Best Buys in College Education.’ The College commits more than $45 million annually to financial aid, which is used to help 95 percent of our students.”
- The opening sentence is marketing frou-frou. Not needed.
The second paragraph here includes several links to more info on scholarships and other forms of financial aid. That’s good. For some reason, “athletic scholarships” are mentioned but without a link. That’s guaranteed to frustrate some visitors. (A site search for “athletic scholarships” doesn’t lead to any information. Best to delete the reference until content is created.)
Follow the Link of the Week…
Visit a rare example of a “Tuition and Costs” website that includes the average amount of financial aid awarded before presenting “sticker price” costs at “A LeMoyne College Education.‘
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