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Cutting College Costs


Reducing price is the most direct path to making anything more affordable. Some colleges are remembering their mission is education, not young-adult daycare and sports entertainment:

Forget about campus housing. Or a meal plan, or a gym with a climbing wall. This program is about the basics – core courses at a bare-bones satellite campus. But the price is less than one-third of what it costs for tuition and room and board at the main campus in Manchester.

SNHU president Paul LeBlanc calls the Ad­­van­tage Program a "low-cost airline equivalent" in higher education – "a high-quality academic experience, but not a whole lot else." Others liken it to an economy car or a meat-and-potatoes meal.

If a substantial number of colleges were to offer no-frills options like SNHU's, "they'd make a huge step in tackling the root causes of the cost problem," says Jane Wellman, executive director of the Delta Cost Project in Washington, which analyzes higher-education spending.