Compare college costs: $3,300 vs. $32,000

Community colleges are losing students to high-cost for-profit competitors. Now Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri is fighting back with an ad campaign that compares its tuition to its competitors, reports Inside Higher Ed.

A TV commercial the college unveiled last week compares the $3,300 annual cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies at Ozarks to $32,000 at Bryan College, a small Christian for-profit, $18,000 at ITT Tech and roughly $14,000 at Everest College and Vatterott College.

“When looking at the costs, there is no comparison,” a voiceover says during the commercial. “The numbers speak for themselves.”

With rapidly growing enrollment, Ozarks is struggling to meet demand and has turned away allied health and technical students, Inside Higher Ed reports.  While chancellor Hal Higdon says his college isn’t losing enrollment to the for-profits, he wants students to be “smart consumers.”

For-profit dropouts who enroll at Ozarks bring along their debts for federal reporting purposes, which raises the colleges loan default rates.

While community colleges have been reluctant to invest in marketing, Southwestern Illinois College promotes “SWIC-onomics” in print ads touting its low tuition.

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