Earlham College's enrollment

According to Earlham’s cds, they only brought in 172 freshman this year. What is going on? A bad year or a sign of worse to come?

Current student, in my opinion. I believe with there being a lot of uncertainty going around Earlham last year (2018-2019) school year. With the new president search and getting rid of the football program. It made it a very skeptical decision for college students to come here. However, now with the new president, here, In my opinion, I believe Earlham, has seen it’s worst days, and will only grow from here on out. Now with everything coming back to somewhat normality. One key issue Earlham will need to address to increase the following years’ enrollment exponentially. With this year’s class (20’) being the largest graduating class. Time will only tell.

Adding to the situation, of the 172 matriculated students, about 140 would be expected to continue into their sophomore year at Earlham. There’s little doubt that this would be of concern, as well as the focus of a concerted effort to address enrollment issues.

@therealmikejones @merc81 we will have to see. Coronavirus is definitely going to make things harder

How much of this is an Earlham thing and how much is it a small LACs in the midwest thing?

@RelicAndType That’s a good question. I’m sure what Earlham is going through is shared by many small private colleges in the midwest but Earlham has more name recognition so we hear about it more. The problems Earlham has is similar to other schools(operating on a deficit year after year, president resigned after one year on the job…etc). However, what makes Earlham unique is that it has a good endowment for a school of its size (400million+). The fact that it’s struggling with a decent sized endowment is concerning. Interestingly, Earlham received a “B” on the 2019 Forbes college financial grades. If Earlham is B material, then I can’t imagine the financial stress going on at the 675/933 schools in the C and D range. I go to a LAC in the midwest and it’s too bad a lot of the ones in the Midwest are struggling. Being in the midwest seems to be a deterrent for some students but I enjoy the Midwest vibe more vs the more preppy culture of New England LACs.

Challenges of Earlham’s type haven’t been confined to the Midwest. This Boston Globe article describes how “Higher education struggles are hitting Vermont hard,” for example:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/30/higher-education-struggles-hit-vermont-hard/hiN0TRBKM147Qbdrvx4QHJ/story.html