How concerned should we be about University's finances

DS 21 just heard from his college counselor at OWU that he should expect good news by Nov 12. OWU was his main academic and financial safety based on likely merit. He’s going to likely do much better in a smaller school with solid advising, a really thoughtful 1st year experience, and an opportunity to explore majors, among other qualities like racial diversity and a relaxed student orchestra.

It’s lovely that he will likely be accepted, but now I’m wondering how worried we should be about OWU’s financial future and how severely the programs and opportunities will shrink. Should he expand his search for safeties to schools that he didn’t like as much (like Ursinus which felt like a timid unexpansive kind of vibe to him coming from suburban NJ). He also got into Roanoke as a safety which would be fine, and a bit more away from NJ suburbs but possibly too conservative. His target schools we won’t hear from for another month or so and to maximize merit he should be applying early to alterative financial safeties. Thanks for your thoughts.

No real advice to offer other than you have made me want to look at OWU for my S22. :slight_smile: He is actually looking at a college that was put on financial probation two years ago by its accrediting agency. (They are back on good terms, now.) Like you, I have no idea how seriously to take it. UNC, Texas Tech, and University of Louisville have also been on probation at one point and obviously are still around with a solid reputation. What is the story with OWU?

I am a worrier by nature and would ask a lot of questions like is merit renewable and guaranteed (assuming academic standards are met) and I would look into enrollment for his intended major. One of the colleges in our area is laying off a very large number of faculty (130+) and reducing the number of majors, using enrollment data and trends to determine which programs stay and which ones go. While OWU may not be in the same boat, it never hurts to gather information just in case.

@helpingmom40 sounds like you maybe talking about Ithaca College? There is a lot of pain in higher ed. (as elsewhere). OWU has shrunk enrolment for quite a few years and now is making cuts that don’t completely affect student’s lives, (unless you’re a rower) but hurt faculty and will hurt students in that way.