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The Invisible Force Behind College Admissions

The consultancy Noel-Levitz might be the most influential force in higher education pricing that you’ve never heard of, empowering what’s become a three-stage, market-distorting game for college administrators. First, conjure as high a sticker price as possible for tuition. Second, schools plow a lot of that extra money into student amenities, including country-club perks that outwardly justify it–and help with college rankings that reward such largesse. Finally, use your financial aid pile not necessarily to help needier students but rather to offer discounts to lure richer kids who might pay the rest of that inflated tuition price in full.