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Within the DEC Network, never has there been more focus on the investment value associated with higher education than in the past year. Hit with the effects of the “great recession”, families are taking a very close look at potential tuition bills when evaluating college decisions. As noted in earlier blogs, the majority of private colleges and universities in the United States, some with price tags climbing over $50,000, are responding with higher levels of financial and merit aid packages to continue to attract talented students. But is this enough? John Liebowitz, President of Middlebury states in a recent Inside Higher Ed article, “There will be a price point at which even the most affluent families will question the investment; the sooner we are able to reduce our fee increases the better.” Under Liebowitz’s leadership, the college plans to cap its annual fee structure (tuition, room, board) at one percentage point above the Consumer Price Index. Bottom line, colleges like Middlebury realize that they can no longer price their product in a vacuum. The law of diminishing returns will soon be a reality, if not today. To read more about Middlebury’s new tuition ceiling pledge, go to http://www.middlebury.edu/newsroom/node/249244.