[See how surprise fees can add up.]
And other schools are debuting a variety of cost savings initiatives, including 2012-2013 tuition cuts at colleges including Cabrini College in Pennsylvania, the University of Charleston in West Virginia, and Lincoln College in Illinois, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Plus, with a combination of merit and need-based aid packages, schools that otherwise look very expensive can fall within a family's ability to pay.
[See which colleges claim to meet full need.]
"It's impossible to say that one type of measure is better than another," notes Tony Pals, NAICU spokesman. "Students and parents really should take a look at individual institutions and see what they are doing to stay affordable."
At Columbia College, at least, the new fixed tuition plan seems to have piqued an interest in college financing among prospective families, says Admissions Counselor Tina McNeil.
"It kind of entices them and draws them in," she says. "It's definitely caused them to ask more questions and dig deeper and get the whole financial picture."
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