How big are Loyola NO's financial troubles?

I know this forum doesn’t get much traffic but am hoping that someone with info is paying attention.

We started looking at Loyola NO because it is right next door to Tulane, one of my D’s favorites. After touring Tulane, we toured Loyola, and much to D’s surprise, she liked it. We, her parents, liked the merit scholarship program since she would qualify for the top level, making the school substantially less expensive than Tulane. She decided to apply.

But, I am very concerned about the financial health of the school. It sounds like they are laying people off and cutting programs. I am concerned about sending her to a school where she might find services and programs being cut back. I worry about how this will impact her college experience and am considering trying to persuade her that this isn’t a good option after all. Is there anyone out there with any insight?

They are definitely “retrenching” after an enrollment downturn several years ago. My understanding is that they are more tuition based than some and when they had a lower than expected enrollment it hit harder. Both Tulane and Loyola, of course, were hit hard by Katrina and had to consolidate and prune programs. Loyola has been shifting more energy towards some of the creative arts and communications programs - a strong suite - and cut back in other areas.

I definitely worried some sending our son but his experience “on the ground” has been amazing. It would be worth more research depending on what academic programs your D is interested in. I’m sure that there are departments that offer a shallower range of classes for academic breadth.

Feel free to pm with with questions . . .

As a parent, I looked into this in detail before my daughter started there this year. Quick synopsis of what I found: Katrina hurt Tulane and Loyno dramatically - financially and in terms of enrollment. (Tulane closed for the year and Loyno reopened 2nd semester I believe.) The 6-year graduation rates that are quoted everywhere start w/data from about 2 years previous,then go back 8-10 years, so current/recent stats still reflect the impact of Katrina upon students. And those stats affect ratings, which affect applications. But Tulane has a much higher endowment to fall back upon. In the years post-Katrina, Loyno started belt-tightening and reduced student aid - too precipitously, the school now admits. They also ran a deficit & cut non-teaching staff due to the deficit. Then there was a population dip in the number of high school graduates about 3 years ago and many small liberal arts colleges, including Loyno, had a dip in enrollment. (St. Mary’s in Maryland actually fired its president as a result.) Loyno’s enrollment has continued to be less than it was pre-Katrina, which means fewer funds. When I asked admin staff about the trend, they said true but that the retention rate of students has improved as their student body has become smaller. I believe they have cut the deficit dramatically but recently announced an examination or possible reorganization of some departments. Some of the faculty has recently been upset and critical of the president, but last month the university announced faculty raises so that may have helped Personally - my daughter loves it there, I have been impressed with the caliber of administrators & professors (lectures I heard on Family Weekend), class size, & the facilities appear to be in fine shape. My sources of info: friends who teach at other Jesuit schools, national media, talks I’ve had with admission & administrative staff, and The Maroon (the award-winning student newspaper, which pulls no punches.

Really loved our visit to Loyola NO. It is one of daughter’s top choices. I really hope this school makes whatever decisions it needs to to survive and thrive in the coming years, whether or not my DD chooses to go there. When we were visiting NO, people in town were very outgoing and friendly, and when we mentioned she was visiting Loyola, invariably people would comment on how wonderful and nice the students at Loyola were. It made an impression on me, because we also visited another school in NO, and did not get the same feedback about that one from the townies. Didn’t get bad feedback at all, just to be clear-- just not the enthusiastic gushing that the name Loyola seemed to elicit.

S was very happy with his first semester experience. Again, who knows how upperclassmen feel but so far so good for our perspective. The do have a bit of a perk in that when adjunct faculty are used they seem to be teaching at both Loyola and Tulane so remain local and teaching solid courses. As a parent I still have nothing but good things to say about the administration. From top to bottom everyone who I have dealt with has been prompt, helpful and personable. They continue to improve facilities. Again, where I think you would see issues is if your child were interested in a program that is not well supported for deep study.

Since I was the OP I thought I’d update. My D did apply and was accepted. Though nothing is definite yet, I think she will be going elsewhere but not due to the concerns about the schools finances. I do hope that all goes well with this school in the future. We really enjoyed our visit there.

Tulane was closed only the Fall semester after Katrina and reopened in January like Loyola. Loyola had minimal flooding damage unlike Tulane where two thirds of the campus was under water.

Thanks to all who have chimed in. My D is very much interested and the finances are one concern I had. I’ve been impressed with many aspects of the school and we will be in campus again for auditions soon.

This is the first I’m hearing of financial woes for the school and not the impression I got at all visiting last spring with my D. She loves the school and its one of her top choices, she was just accepted academically and offered a partial merit scholarship.

We’ll be on campus at the end of the month for auditions but I was impressed by the facilities. They’ve built a brand new state of the art lecture hall and building for communications which also holds classes for the Music Industry program. They seem to attract students from across the country and have great faculty and staff. They were constructing new buildings and appeared to have a commitment to continuous improvement after Katrina.

Saintfan - My brother lived in New Orleans for many years, and his wife’s family have been living in NOLA for generations. Yes, your impression is correct. The locals have much warmer feelings for Loyola than another big school in the neighborhood.