WU Financial Problems - Would you send your kid to WU in 2020?

I read about Willamette’s decline in enrollment in this article from Oct. 2019:


Some of the things the article mentioned were:

“Fewer students led to cuts: Willamette’s workforce shrank by 8% from 2014 to 2016, leaving the school with 200 fewer employees. Faculty have noticed some changes, including restructuring of senior capstone requirements, rearrangement of elective courses and larger classes, all aimed at allowing the school to operate with fewer teachers. Professors said the university has avoided layoffs but has also left positions open after staff leave or retire.”


““We have not been able to expand some student services as much as we would have liked in order to accommodate increasing demand for them… This seems particularly true in health care, especially mental health services, and career services.’”

I also noticed that Willamette accepted an all-time high of 89% (!) of students this year. In 2012, they accepted 57% of students. It looks like one of their strategies to gain more students, and more enrollment money, is to admit nearly everyone.

My daughter really likes WU, but has other good college choices-- ones that aren’t in a place of financial difficulty. She feels really torn about her final college decision.

I’m concerned about how the drop in enrollment will effect her if she enrolls. I’m not quite as concerned that the school will close, like some of the other OR schools in the area (Concordia, Mercyhurst, OR School of Arts and Craft), but I am concerned that the quality of the Willamette will drop while it struggles to recover-- less teachers, less selective student body, less student resources, etc.

I am pretty certain that she will need good access to mental health services for anxiety, and am hearing that it can take awhile to get an appointment with mental health services, and there is also a fee for appointments.

I wonder if anyone has thoughts or experiences to share.

Thank you for posting this. Willamette is one of my D’s top choices. I’ve read a few articles including the one posted here. I have the similar concern and would love to hear what others think but I think the school is committed to provide quality education and I’d be thrilled if my D decides to go there.

I don’t have a crystal ball for the future, but I can tell you that right now Willamette is a great place for my current junior. Outstanding, involved faculty; I can’t overstate how committed to their students and to the learning process they’ve been (I went to a small liberal arts college as well, and my expectations were high). Small classes… I think the biggest has been under 35 students for an intro level class, with most under 15. This spring, 3rd year language class (major) and another class have 5 students each; that’s an incredible opportunity for discussion, analysis, learning, and connection with other students and the professors. Getting involved with clubs as desired has been easy, and social life seems fine. I hear complaints about the administration; I’ll admit that I find that to be the case at pretty much every college, though the students at WU may or may not have specific unique concerns (I try to stay out of this; my student is at a stage to be dealing with this independently).
I have heard counseling appointments are tougher to get, although I believe a certain number are available for walk-ins each day. It’s a good idea for a student to make an initial appointment–probably the toughest ones to get–right away; at least it worked for my student! There are also others on campus who are available for support, including the residential life staff, the chaplains, and the faculty (again, really caring!).
Hope that information helps a bit; from our view as parents, we think it’s been a great fit.

Wondering what she chose? We are in the same boat this year…where did she end up going and how has it turned out?