While the majority of colleges and universities rated by Moody’s Investors Service project that net tuition revenue will grow in fiscal 2012, more universities anticipate decreases compared to last year, according to Moody’s third annual tuition pricing survey.

“The survey highlights that sector conditions have toughened some in a weak economy and against a backdrop of a likely decline in government aid to education,” said vice president and senior analyst Karen Kedem, the co-author of the report.

“Even the 80% of institutions that project net tuition revenue growth for FY 2012 is down from 87% of private and 92% of public university respondents based on FY 2011 results,” she said.

The 18% of private universities that expect declines in net tuition revenue in fiscal 2012 is an increase over the 13% that reported actual declines in 2011. A high 17% of public universities expect declines in net tuition revenue in fiscal 2012, an increase over the 8% that reported actual declines in 2011.

“The survey found that private and public universities with lower tuition sticker prices saw higher tuition increases as they are well-positioned for the increasingly price-sensitive environment,” Kedem said.

Student demand remains strong for large, diversified, and highly rated colleges and universities, according to the Moody’s survey.

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