Spring Arbor University (Michigan)

Spring Arbor University (Michigan)


In the midst of deteriorating economic conditions in Michigan, Spring Arbor wanted to determine the optimum combination of price and financial aid packaging to position the university for continued enrollment and revenue growth.

Spring Arbor engaged Ruffalo Noel Levitz to conduct a pricing study. Testing Spring Arbor applicants on the current price, a higher price, and a lower price – and on different levels of financial aid at each price point – served as the lynchpin of the research. In addition, each of these price points was compared to those of Spring Arbor’s competitors.


The study found that the university would not gain additional students by lowering its price and would, in fact, see significantly lower enrollments by raising its price. While this research confirmed that Spring Arbor was at the optimum price point, additional findings revealed that the university had lost some ground to competitors in the area of academic scholarships. As a result of these findings and multiple specific recommendations, Spring Arbor increased the amount of its existing scholarships and added one higher-level academic scholarship.

"The best outcome of this study was having great data. We received more than adequate proof that if we wanted to continue to see strong conversion from the student profile that we have, we need to continue to have strong scholarship programs.

"And we now have enough data to know that we are positioned correctly. It was worth the money to know that we are headed down the right road."

Matthew Osborne
Vice President for Enrollment Services

Case study used with the permission of Spring Arbor University.

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