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At Small Colleges, Harsh Lessons About Cash Flow

oldmom4896oldmom4896 3799 replies284 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,083 Senior Member
In the last few years, small liberal arts colleges struggling under financial siege have been forced to re-examine their missions and justify their existence.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/us/small-colleges-losing-market-share-struggle-to-keep-doors-open.html
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Replies to: At Small Colleges, Harsh Lessons About Cash Flow

  • intparentintparent 36273 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,917 Senior Member
    They dumped math??? Ugly.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76129 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,792 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Looks like the Franklin Pierce math department has 2 tenured professors and 4 lecturers, according to page 188 of the 2015-2016 catalog. Even in the 2013-2014 catalog, there were only 3 regular courses that would normally be considered junior/senior level courses in other math departments (MT361 Modern Algebra, MT373 Probability and Mathematical Statistics, MT375 Introduction to Operations Research).
    edited April 2016
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  • Moonshot99Moonshot99 97 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    @Hanna, how many public liberal arts colleges are there? St. Mary's in Maryland pops to mind. William & Mary?
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  • NotVerySmartNotVerySmart 1608 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,670 Senior Member
    @whenhen I remember a thread a while back about a small LAC (I think it was Sewanee) that tried to lower tuition by $10,000 instead of combining a high sticker price with large merit awards. It didn't work out too well. Firstly, because some people view college as a Veblen good, and won't even consider a $40,000/year college; what kind of rinky-dink directional has a $40,000 COA? Others have more sensible views, but many in this group can't begin to afford $40,000. Secondly, people like getting merit aid. Some of this is rational - attending college X on a scholarship looks good on a resumé - while much of it is about vanity.
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  • OnTheBubbleOnTheBubble 800 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 807 Member
  • CT1417CT1417 4315 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,337 Senior Member
    I have been surprised that more are not failing already.

    @NotVerySmart -- I think Elon is a school that keeps their sticker price lower and when they offer merit awards, they are in the $5-&K range, I think. All anecdotal as I have never looked at Elon, but it seems that instead of discounting $20K from $60K, they discount $5K from the mid-$40s.
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  • InigoMontoyaInigoMontoya 1697 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,704 Senior Member
    Elon does keep their sticker price lower, merit award ranges go a bit higher than that - but you often read posts about how Elon is "stingy with aid" even though the bottom line is still competive. People look at the $$ of the award, not the net price. Look how well everyday discounted pricing worked for Penny's. People like to think they're getting a deal.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3321 replies75 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,396 Senior Member
    @Hanna I see some great schools for people who don't want their state flagships: Mary Washington, New College of Florida, Geneseo, NC Ashville, Evergreen, St M of MD. Probably the others are great too, but I don't know anything about them.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76129 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,792 Senior Member
    Among that list of public LACs are some relatively low cost (even for out-of-state students) ones like Truman State and University of Minnesota - Morris.
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  • msteemstee 3081 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,136 Senior Member
    Interesting combo of cuts, dance and . . . math??? Yikes.

    I find this sad. Love LAC's. Great places for a kid like my youngest to get a solid education in an atmosphere that is supportive, attentive, and not overly competitive, but will push her to stretch herself. We toured several recently, and all were lovely schools that have a lot to offer.

    I agree that many of the LAC's are not in optimal locations. More than once this year, as my daughter and I discussed LAC's located in the midwest, we said, wow, that is a great school -- if only it were located in the south, it would be a top choice . . . the weather here . . .
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  • intparentintparent 36273 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,917 Senior Member
    @mstee, you just aren't acclimated yet. :D
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  • zobrowardzobroward 3740 replies193 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    two things...I actually was at franklin pierce one time it was freezing cold!
    and second like they mention in the article...schools added things like a rock climbing wall.

    adding a rock climbing wall is not the cause of schools financial issues. I hear that as an example all the time.
    edited April 2016
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