Fresno Pacific University (California)

Fresno Pacific University conducted price sensitivity research to gauge th reactions of the university's markets to varying tuition levels

Fresno Pacific University (FPU) did not have a clear plan for tuition and wanted to set a baseline for how its markets were responding to its costs, particularly in adult programs. The university also wanted to develop a clear strategy for the disbursement of financial aid. To accomplish these goals, FPU conducted price sensitivity research with Ruffalo Noel Levitz to gauge the reactions in the university's markets to varying tuition levels. The university also monitored the complete range of tuition in its market area, especially among competitor adult programs. Additionally, FPU clearly watched different student segments and how they reacted to financial aid awards and formulated awarding strategies based on the findings. A review of admissions and financial aid practices provided coordination of best practices among both departments. The project as a whole provided Fresno Pacific with valuable information from which to moderate cost and avoid over-pricing its programs or over-awarding students.


  • Yield rate increased by 10.1 percent in the first year of the project
  • Enrollment in adult programs has blossomed
  • The university has felt a major internal difference—financial aid staff are thinking and acting in new ways
  • Now using data strategically for comparisons and making more informed decisions about awarding
  • Developed a retention analysis that showed how groups who were targeted with financial aid packages and enrolled retained at higher levels compared to un-targeted populations


"We have really valued the clear, thorough analysis and presentation of the data provided to us. Being able to test, adapt, and apply new strategies has allowed us to garner the best results.

"On any campus, things are often done politically, and you are not always able to make the case for what needs to be accomplished. [Ruffalo Noel Levitz] has been able to use data to show what is happening with our financial aid processes and why. The sophistication [Ruffalo Noel Levitz] brings helps to balance out that political dimension on campus."

Dr. Stephen Varvis

Case study used with the permission of Fresno Pacific University.

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