Weekly Market Update

PUBLIC SECTOR TUITION DISCOUNT DRIVES ENROLLMENT

Thursday, May 2, 2019

One outlier in the declining enrollment trend is Capital University, a private not-for-profit school in Bexley, Ohio. For this coming fall, 630 students have paid deposits, up from 590 deposits last fall. The university's Good Guarantee program may be responsible. The program offers half-price tuition to students whose families work in the not-for-profit or public sectors. This includes law enforcement professionals, teachers, military personnel, and faith-based employees. More than a third of this year's committed students are eligible for this program, which is more attractive than the comparable federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness ("PSLF") program. The latter qualifies students based on their careers, rather than those of their spouses, parents, or legal guardians. Good Guarantee participants also benefit from the tuition discount during their undergraduate years, rather than loan balance forgiveness years later.

In Other News

  • In response to the Methodist Church's vote against allowing same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy in February, Baldwin Wallace University chose to sever ties with the church, ending a 174 year affiliation.
  • Barry and Joy Lambert donated $2 million to Jefferson University in Philadelphia to establish the Lambert Innovation Fund, intended to help develop medical uses for industrial hemp and its derivatives. The Lamberts previously donated $3 million in 2016 to establish the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp.
  • Billionaire investor Ray Dalio has joined the debate over the strength of central banking, claiming that a new modern monetary theory ("MMT") will inevitably replace it. The doctrine of MMT states that governments should manage their economies through spending and taxes, rather than relying on independent central banks.
  • Education publishers Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education announced plans to merge. While Cengage CEO Michael Hansen claims content will become "radically more affordable," many are skeptical that this merger will reduce costs and benefit students.