Tuition revenue remains stable

Kyle Nigro

Some private colleges and universities are anticipating a serious decline in their tuition revenues for this year, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service.

The report is based on a survey of 100 of 286 private institutions in the U.S.

According to the report, nine colleges have already seen a decline in the 2009 fiscal year, and 29 more are anticipating one for 2010.

William J. Lucas, vice president of finance at Fairfield University, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that these results are likely due to colleges’ attempts to keep tuition increases minimal while increasing scholarship and aid.

Declines in revenue can have crucial effects on colleges and universities because these institutions base their budgets around this income. Therefore, the expected declines are causing many schools to budget conservatively and cautiously.

St. Edward’s University is not in any type of financial hotspot, and took precautionary measures in order to ensure that, said Rhonda Cartwright, vice president of Financial Affairs,

“We did delay granting a salary increase for this year until we knew that our enrollment numbers would support one,” she said.

Cartwright said members of the St. Edward’s community can rest easily knowing that the university’s financial security is not being challenged. In fact, after this past year’s enrollment numbers were secured, the university was able to grant a 3 percent increase in pay for all benefit eligible employees, which was effective as of Oct. 1.

“Not only did we not experience a drop in tuition revenue this year, but school officials are not anticipating one next year either,” Cartwright said.

Universities like Fairfield, a private Catholic institution in Connecticut, enacted a $5 million budget cut, which included cutting many university jobs.

According to the article released by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fairfield also fell short of its previous freshman class enrollment by 25 students.

St. Edward’s, on the other hand, managed to top last year’s numbers, increasing the class by 15 students and setting a record for the largest freshman class in school history.

April Linton, a sophomore, said although St. Edward’s is financially stable, she hopes the university will not compromise the needs of the student body in order to make sure that our student body doesn’t decrease.


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