Do Not Attend Earlham College

I also can report happy experiences that I’m aware of at Earlham. It’s always been top of this family’s list–one that at least one of my children applied to early–as a thoughtful, caring environment where they really nurture the students intellectually. Also the campus is huge and lovely. I know of a student who gave up Bowdoin for Earlham and was glad that s/he did.

I am sorry if I missed it but have they named a permanent President and laid out a plan for funding their continued operating cost shortfalls?

Glad you kids are enjoying the experience but that isn’t relevant to the long term financial viability of the institution. Nor is the anecdotal experience of one student who never looked back at an opportunity at Bowdoin.

Do they have a plan, is it viable and has it been implemented? I am neither “friend” or “foe” just someone who looks at the numbers pragmatically and without experience bias of having a relationship to the school.

Institutions can’t rely on one off alumni donations to permanently bridge operating losses.


  1. Not having a relationship to the school may mean that you don’t have “bias,” but it also may mean that you don’t have all of the information and thus, you may have an opinion, but it is not informed enough to speak intelligently on the topic.
    As I pointed out before, you arent really seeing the full picture regarding the numbers. I won’t say it all again, as I have already ennumerated some concrete numbers-related facts of the many that you seem to be missing.

  2. If alumni-giving is in the form of endowments, it actually can permanently bridge operating losses. Many colleges fund their scholarship programs through their endowments. Last year, on top of record-high alumni giving, Earlham was able to institute three new endowment funds ($7.5million for a special endowed EPIC fund, as well as $1 million, and $1million endowments to support financial aid/scholarships.) Again, see previous posts. Also, Are you familiar with Berea College?

  3. I believe that I also had previpusly mentioned that there is a concrete stragegic plan, and that the early stages of implementation have begun.

  4. And not for nothing but… are you asserting that, in addition to lacking knowledge of some of the numbers necessary to adequately evaluate the situation of the school, you also have no actual experience with the school at all?
    It seems to me that the people with the experience and real familiarity with the school are the ones we should want to listen to?

Further …if people who know something about the school are “biased,” that must mean that what they know about the school has produced a favorable opinion. Seems to me that is MORE reason to listen to them and not less…

Have they publicly disclosed any of what you are stating? Who is the President what is the plan?

Saying they have a plan is very different then announcing and or executing the plan…what and where can I find the plan?

Review the story of Enron collapse . The people in the know had a plan and all was great. The outsiders who called out the problem were similarly dismissed. I said I have no horse in the game I do have 30 years of financial analysis background.

^To your second point the operating deficit last year was $12.8mm. You actually prove my concern by suggesting the record high incremental $9.5mm of donations can “permanently bridge” the shortfall. Assuming that $9.5mm is invested at 5% it is only producing $475k or 3.75% of the annual $12.8mm deficit.

They need to fundamentally change either or both their cost structure or revenue side by lower aid (higher full pay).

Why hasn’t a President been named to articulate this plan if one exists.

Dismissing numbers with ad hominem attacks and emotions doesn’t change the numbers.

It is also conspicuous that supporters of the school are willing to dismiss and or silence the first hand accounts of Rozela16. It would appear that any critiques are either to objective or to close, while words of support are just right.

Earlham stands for informed and open discussion, why would you dismiss and silence detractors as opposed to offering factual rebuttal?

BB lastly these are your words.
“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”. Regrettably these concerns are one and the same.

You mention that you have described a “concrete plan” yet a review of your posts doesn’t outline any such plan. The inability to name a permanent successor to Alan Price suggest no such plan is agreed upon or in place.

Article above suggest efforts to date have not changed the trajectory of revenue and that the school has a history of poor financial disclosure.

The “plan” was to spend $100mm to improve campus to attract student. In spite of this revenue per student has declined from$14,000 to $12,000 and yield rates of 20% (no improvement). Your correct I don’t know all the numbers as apparently they are not offered but I do know those numbers.

The OP is long gone. Closing thread.