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Why is Elon less expensive?

baywoodbaywood 0 replies1 discussions
Elon's tuition, room and board looks like it totals around $40,000/yr, while other liberal arts colleges are in the low to high $50,000s. How can they do this? Has Elon refrained from the arms race that other LACs seem to be pursuing (new stadiums, new dorms, better food)? Are there fewer STEM majors, allowing less to be spent on labs and equipment?

Or perhaps the amount spent is the same; other colleges have a higher sticker price, but then provide half of their students with "merit" tuition discounts.

I know this will sound like we've bought into the "if it's cheaper then it can't be as good" myth. Perhaps, but there are differences in how colleges charge and spend their money.

Using the data at Collegeresults.org, and comparing Elon to a few other LACs that our d has been looking at (Muhlenburg, Juniata, Ursinus, Denison and Wooster), the faculty to student ratio is 14 to 1 for all but Denison and Wooster (11 to 1). Elon is in the middle for Instructional Expenditures per student, but the amount spent on Educational and General Expenses per student at Elon is less than the others (Elon=$21,900/yr; Denison= $32,600/yr). This category includes research and academic support, among other things. Is it in these categories that Elon saves money?

So, your input would be welcome.
edited May 2013 in Elon University
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Replies to: Why is Elon less expensive?

  • rockvillemomrockvillemom 16 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    I believe it is this:
    Or perhaps the amount spent is the same; other colleges have a higher sticker price, but then provide half of their students with "merit" tuition discounts.

    For example - Elon's merit aid is generally the $4500/year Presidential scholarship for top students and there is also merit money for the Fellows program. But nothing like say University of Miami or Tulane - where the top merit awards are $20,000+ - but coming off a $50,000+ pricetag.

    I have one at Elon and one about to graduate from Wake Forest, which costs about $16,000 per year more. They are in the same geographic area, roughly same size campus and student body, etc. Wake Forest may rank higher, but other than that, no huge difference that I see. Wake Forest costs more, so they do give more aid. Does that make sense? It causes resentment between students who are full pay and those who receive FA. There is a wide disparity at a pricy college as far as how much various students pay to attend. Personally, I like Elon's approach better. Set a realistic price and less game playing.
    edited May 2013
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  • Bigdaddy88Bigdaddy88 29 replies5 discussions
    The other side of the coin is that a lot of really qualified students don't apply to Elon because of the relatively low merit aid. It seems that if you receive the Honors Fellowship along with the Pres scholarship it is still only $16.5k. Which is pretty good but still leaves a hefty check to write. Many schools that are very similar to Elon offer some full-tuition and even full ride scholarships to the top students. If my D was offered a full tuition at say Furman and $16.5k at Elon, it would make Furman a no brainer.
    edited May 2013
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  • samtalyasamtalya 4 replies0 discussions New Member
    Reading Transforming a College will also tell the story of how Elon is fiscally responsible with investments and allocations of funds for reaching and physical plant.

    In regards to OP's question: Elon has several new dorms, new stadium facilities, and new dining room and conference facilities. It would behoove you to visit. there is is a reason that Elon is names most beautiful campus in the US.

    I think if you are following Elon you have seen the value of an Elon education in terms of the Elon experiences. Elon Experiences Transcript

    I can also say that we have been extremely impressed with all the opportunities our S has had during his freshman year. None of his friends have had this much support and exposure to their faculty, or have participated in as many programs and organizations.

    There is a culture at Elon that no matter the price, ratios, expenses permeates the campus. This is due to the visionary leadership under Leo Lambert. You feel this when you are on campus and through all the Elon communications throughout the year.
    edited May 2013
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