Do Not Attend Earlham College

I am a current student and feel that the incoming class MUST know this before they enroll. I could give you all a long answer, but I would seriously recommend that you DO NOT ENROLL AT EARLHAM COLLEGE. They are in a financial crisis that is predicted to have them close by 2025. They also cut my aid in half. Now I only have my merit scholarship of $21k and no other assistance. That means I have a bill of over $32k, which I can’t afford. I am assuming they will cut aid for more upperclassmen to give more money to freshman in the future. I was also assaulted here even with video tape and circumstantial evidence, yet they have done nothing. They let the men get away with it and they are on the football team (they are extremely rich). I will say that the only redeeming quality of Earlham are the fabulous professors. Outside of this though, there’s nothing good about this school. You’re not safe. I’m not trying to be vindictive, but people need to know the truth before they enroll. I have decided to transfer to a state school that will cost me max $10k a year for all of these reasons. Private message me if you have more questions, I will try to be as honest as possible with you.

Most colleges reassess FA awards every year. What was Earlham’s justification for cutting your aid in half?
Did you submit a FAFSA on time? Did it not show a significant change in your level of financial need? Could a fair, impartial observer reasonably conclude that your aid was cut only due to a change in Earlham’s financial condition?

A total of 4 posts, all on the same topic.

I’m not doubting your sincerity, merely questioning your objectivity.

What do you mean when you say “you’re not safe”?? Is that about physical safety or financial safety? I think you said in another thread that you’re a sophomore? Why did you choose to return this year?

@bjkmom, well, I read the following in the original post:
“I was also assaulted here even with video tape and circumstantial evidence, yet they have done nothing. They let the men get away with it and they are on the football team (they are extremely rich).”

As far as the alleged assault, I wouldn’t begin to make any judgment based on an anonymous online report and not knowing Earlham’s version of events. Not blaming or excusing anyone.

But the financial aspect begs addressing. I know someone who attends Earlham and they have been told that Earlham will not start awarding FinAid for returning students for the 18/19 academic year until after June 1st. So how does OP know their FinAid has been reduced? And then there are all the Qs other posters raised about timeliness, changes in family financial circumstances, etc.

The student that I know confirms that rumors about Earlham’s financial state are flying around campus. I told them not to rush to conclusions. They were not even clear about what might be the cause of insolvency, but too much FinAid given out is part of the rumors.

Earlham has one of the higher endowments for a school its size. Forbes is still giving it an “A” financial grade. I know a few years ago, Earlham’s bond rating was downgraded, then it was restored. My gut feeling about the rumnors is that a kernel of truth - possibly that Earlham needs to adjust its policies for the longterm - has been erroneously amplified (through rumor) into a supposed immediate crisis.

Earlham has LOTS of money. It’s not going the way of Sweet Briar.

Rozela16 - I’m with allknac: You really need to check your facts before making such an unsubstantiated assertion in aa public forum. EC is not going to close because of financial reasons by 2025. There are plenty of SLACs with much smaller endowments than EC (Kenyon, for example).

Troubles are very real

@barrons: Thank you for posting.

I am not a fan of the book Colleges That Change Lives for a few reasons including the financial difficulties at some of the schools.

So, is it going to be closed by 2025???

^@cjesusinme1, I don’t think that’s a concern.

I mean, the president is resigning and I’m pretty sure it’s because he sees the future of Earlham. He is not confident enough to stick around and improve the campus. He doesn’t even give enough reasons to why he is resigning. I am in doubt because I feel like I made the wrong college choice. I was in love with the college! :frowning:

I don’t think the President’s view of Earlham’s future changed drastically in the one year he served. I think he and the board had some insurmountable differences in how to resolve the problems.

The board and the President took a vow of confidentiality. That decision might have been mutual or at the insistence of either party. You can’t assume that the President is just refusing to give his reasons.

According to the article:

"Heightened competition for a shrinking demographic pool forces colleges to dig deeper into their coffers to offer ever more generous grants. The result, Hull wrote, has been "an unsustainable drawdown of unrestricted endowment funds, jeopardizing the long-term future of the College.

The trustees’ statement said that “some reductions in faculty programs are likely to be required” but that the mission of the college and its commitment to shared governance won’t change

Earlham was facing pressure to enroll more students who could pay close to the full sticker price, while Price (the president) was known to feel strongly about the importance of continuing to further diversify the student body by attracting more first-generation and minority students."

I do think given that the OP goes to the college, his concerns should at least be taken seriously as a warning, if nothing else. It does seem like Earlham is facing financial difficulties and honestly many colleges have very poor track records with dealing with assault.

Well. I think it is reasonable to have concerns. But, it is also important to look at the factul information.

I am a parent of a current Earlham student and also a high school college counselor. Nine of my students are currently enrolled at Earlham. (Just so you know that I also have an active relationship to the school.)

Here are some facts that are relevant.

1)Just about every small LAC (with a significant financial aid program) in the whole country is having similar issues, of different degrees. Other schools such as community colleges, branches of state schools, and universities (not LACs) are also facing funding shortages. This is due to large cuts in education funding on a state and national level. It isn’t only your highschools that are losing out…

  1. Earlham ran a $10million dollar deficit last year.
    BUT… Earlham has a very large endowment – over half a billion dollars. This is significantly larger than most other schools of the same size.

  2. Earlham has an “A” financial rating from Forbes.

  3. Earlham built quite a number of new facilities over the last several years, and added or expanded several departments recently, and rapidly… Which has contributed to the immediate budget shortfall. But, these costs tend to be shorter-term issues, rather than problematic for the long-term health of the school.

  4. Earlham has recently received three major gifts: a $7.5million endowed fund for student internship funding, and two $1million gifts for student scholarships.

  5. My son’s scholarship was not cut at all this year. We will be paying the EXACT same amount out of pocket next year that he has the previous year.

  6. This summer, I have spoken to seven of my nine former students who are now students at Earlham. Several of them have close to full aid (mostly grant aid) Of the seven I talked to, their aid awards had not changed in any significant way. (Although, I don’t know about the other two.)

  7. Earlham has many outstanding and nationally recognized programs and ranks among the top percentiles nationwide for grad school acceptance rates. Earlham has also been ranked for quality of undergraduate teaching, for beautiful campus, for diversity of student body, and for international students.

Additionally, it is worth noting that Alan Price resignation was related to disagreement with the board of trustees regarding the direction to take for last year’s $10million shortfall… Not over Earlham’s long term prospects.

I know the temptation to speculate. However, it is imprudent and irresponsible to post those assumptions, whatever your logic, without any basis in fact.

My own observations, based on my personal and professional familiarity and experience with Earlham College are these:

I am thrilled with the edcuation that my son is getting at Earlham.

Comparing it to my other kids who have attended at Amherst, Middlebury, and Bowdoin, the Earlham education is every bit as good, and - in someways - better.

I am impressed with my former students who return from Earlham on their breaks.
They advance quickly when it comes to their academic and intellectual development, as well as their independence, confidence, and their overall awareness of the world. After one year at Earlham, when comapred to their peers from the same high-school cohort, Earlham students are generally more advanced in their development. And after four years, they tend to be significantly more advanced.
And it is not just educators who notice it. Parents comment on the difference. Other students from the cohort observe it as well.

If you don’t like Earlham, that is fine. It is a niche kind of place. But if you like Earlham, by all means, do yourself the favor of attending!!!

@BB Thank you for your perspective.

Thank you for sharing @BB!

Also… Not for nothing, but…
Earlham’s scholarships (the “merit money”) are generally guaranteed for four years… as long as the student continues to meet the threshold of academic requirements established for that scholarship.

And financial aid grants are on a formula which means that they should only go down if your financial situation changed in a way that would warrant that.
But… If one’s financial situation improved, it seems reasonable to believe that one might be expected to pay more.

Thank you, @BB.

I am always impressed by Earlham grads – how grounded and thoughtful they are – and when we visited this school, we were wowed by the commitment to teaching. And friendliness!

Schools with a true commitment to diversity, accessibility, and inclusion have a real dilemma on their hands when it comes to finances and wanting/needing full pay students. I am not an insider, but I could imagine that for a Quaker school, this tension is is huge, as it challenges a commitment to equality.

Should there be concern regarding the rate at which students continue at and graduate from Earlham though? Based on my year-old copy of U.S. News, Earlham tends to underperform in this area. By absolute figures, students graduate within 6 years at a rate of 67%. When compared to the expected rate (73%), this represents an underperformance of 6 percentage points.