Villanova is expensive. Really, really expensive…and it isn’t even the most expensive school out there. You know all that construction that clogs up the middle of Main and makes it really annoying to walk anywhere? Well… maybe that has something to do with it.

In a National Journal article, former GW president Stephen Trachtenberg discussed the slew of campus improvement projects that he enacted during his tenure that cost the students a fortune. GW remains one of the most expensive schools in the country, but still isn’t the most expensive. He compared his technique for attracting students to his school with amazing campus amenities to selling vodka:

Vodka, he points out, is a colorless, odorless liquid that varies little by maker. He realized the same was true among national private universities: It was as simple as raising the price and upgrading the packaging to create the illusion of quality. Trachtenberg gambled that prospective students would see costly tuition as a sign of quality, and he was right. “People equate price with the value of their education,” he says.

The way it appears in the article, we may not JUST be paying for a high quality education, but also for the campus changes that will hopefully attract more students in the future.

What do you think about this? Can Trachtenberg’s model remain successful? Do you see this happening on our campus?

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