Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr. Chengping Zhang, Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Shelton, Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Laura Casamento, Member


Few quantitative studies exist on tuition outcomes resets despite increasing frequency and interest among industry practitioners. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between sticker price elasticity and changes in first-year student enrollment, net tuition and fee revenue from first-year students, percent of first-year students who are Pell-eligible, and changes in transfer student enrollment using multivariate logistic and linear regression models. The independent variable is the sticker price elasticity of demand from two years preceding the announcement of a reset.

This study contributes to the literature by adding to evidence regarding the signaling role of sticker price in higher education and provides a template for future studies regarding the impact of tuition resets. For industry practitioners, this study provides an overview of tuition reset outcomes and indicators of the suitability of tuition resets as a strategy at the institutional level. This study finds sticker price elasticity is a poor predictor of tuition reset success. Increases to advertising spending and gains in net assets in the years prior to the reset are more consistent predictors of success. This study also finds no evidence of a direct correlation or of “threshold effects” between the size of a reset and the number of first-year students enrolled or net tuition and fee revenue increases.

The study concludes with applications of findings and recommendations for future research with emphasis on the role of advertising as a mechanism to explain the rationale for resetting.

Included in

Business Commons