Knox's financial position

<p>My son is a high school senior and is looking at a number of schools, including Knox. We visited Knox earlier in the year and enjoyed our visit, so it's a school that's on my son's radar. I have heard that Knox might be having some financial problems and am wondering (a) if these problems are minor or (b) something to worry about.</p>

<p>I don’t think it’s anything to worry about; they’ve redone their fundraising model and have also just raised enough money to complete the renovations on their Alumni Hall. I have complete confidence in their ability to thrive for a long time. Over the next 10 -15 years you will see lots of renovations happening I believe.</p>

<p>It’s a great school, if you have any questions just pm me.</p>

<p>I’m a current sophomore at Knox and to be honest, a lot of students were concerned about their financial aid packages/overall ability to afford Knox seeing as tuition went up this past year. However, I found that my financial aid award actually increased this year and I’m paying even less to come to Knox for my second year than I did my first year. There are a lot of scholarship opportunities on campus as well as work study in addition to the aid that students receive from filling out the FAFSA.</p>

<p>I don’t know how much the local economy factors in but Galesburg has been a dieing town for decades. Its not Detroit but it is not good.</p>

<p>I talked to a Knox administrator a few months ago about Knox’s financial health. He said that like most liberal arts colleges Knox is feeling a financial crunch from the economy, but that it’s manageable. As amtc mentioned, they’re finally renovating Alumni Hall, which has been unused for about 30 years partly because they didn’t have the funds to renovate it but now they do. (In a way that’s a good thing, because a 2013 renovation will look very different technologically from even a 2008 renovation.) Knox also just reported that 2012-2013 was the most successful fundraising year in the school’s history.</p>

<p>[Knox</a> College Sets Fundraising Record | Knox College](<a href=“http://www.knox.edu/news-and-events/news-archive/knox-college-sets-fundraising-record.html]Knox”>http://www.knox.edu/news-and-events/news-archive/knox-college-sets-fundraising-record.html)</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the insights.</p>

<p>If you really want a look inside the finances of a given college, search for the 990 form they have to file as a non-profit. Here is the Knox 2011 form. Over 50 pages long, but if you really want to know there is a lot of information in here to help you. I learned about these forms when I applied for a business manager job with a non-profit, and wanted to find out as much as I could about their finances before the interview. Don’t know if you can find a 2012 form yet, but if you Google “Form 990 Knox College 2013” it should come up sometime in the next few months (they file in June of 2013 for 2012, so the one I found below came up when I Googled for 2012).</p>

<p><a href=“https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2013_03_EO/37-0673513_990_201206.pdf[/url]”>https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2013_03_EO/37-0673513_990_201206.pdf</a> </p>

<p>This is the kind of info it takes quite a bit of digging to find, but looking at the real numbers helps get you beyond reassurances from administration and hopeful comments from others associated with the college. Their comments may be correct, but the numbers won’t lie to you.</p>

<p>intparent - I couldn’t make heads or tails of this form but it is from 2011 which may very well show totally different numbers than the current situation. </p>

<p>Fact: Full funds were raised to renovate Alumni Hall. Fact: 2012-2013 fiscal year was the largest fundraising year ever. Fact: They are embarking on a huge and very organized fundraising campaign very shortly.</p>

<p>Future: No one can know, but it looks very promising!</p>

<p>Thanks for that report link, intparent. That’s a nice behind-the-curtain peek at a college’s finances.</p>

<p>Probably the most relevant section of the report is the size of the college’s endowment over the past four reporting years. On page 19 of the report, under Part V: Endowment Funds, it lists these beginning of the year balances for the college endowment:</p>

<p>2011: $84,085,106
2010: $67,435,543
2009: $57,550,359
2008: $71,423,256</p>

<p>That one-year 19% drop in the endowment (from investment losses) must have been punishing, and I would expect changes were made then that are still being felt. But it looks like the college responded admirably and in three years has not only made up that decrease, but has added an additional 18% over and above the previous high. With this year’s record fundraising, the early indications are that Knox now has three consecutive years of positive growth in its endowment.</p>

<p>Yes… and if you want to search again in a few months, you might get 2012 so you can see if the trend continues.</p>

<p>Knox’s endowment is smaller relative to other schools. It probably is because a significant portion of its graduates don’t do well financially after graduation. Face it, creative writing (10% of degrees) is not a way to make a living. Nor does it prepare you for much. Most of my daughter’s friends are working in jobs that do not require college degrees. Some were on food stamps for awhile. Its a great place if your want to have a great if some what insular time, but better plan on going to grad school if you want to be marketable.</p>

<p>Knox’s endowment is $111 million, not bad for a school it’s size and location. Their financial status is moving so fast in the upward direction, renovations and new buildings are happening all over campus. New classes and fundings are fast and furious, all from a very happy alumni. </p>

<p>A Creative Writing major trains you for so much more than “creative writing.” Many, if not most 20-somethings are lost and confused for quite a few years and “make due” with survival jobs while they figure out what it is they want to be when they grow up. Some work in a job connected to their major for a year or two and then decide it’s not what they thought or want and then go looking for alternatives. What you’re speaking of is a 20-something phenomenon of the 21st century.</p>

<p>Do you have any facts to back up your second sentence? “It probably is because a significant portions of its graduates don’t do well financially after graduation.” </p>