Thursday, October 23, 2008

Colleges Hurting in these Tough Financial Times

On October 10, 2008, the Washington Post reported that colleges are struggling due to reductions in three major sources of revenues - government funding, donations and tuition.  here is an excerpt from the article:

In many ways, colleges have an enviable position. They can afford to invest for the very long term. Many have endowments to cushion the blow of downturns, and demand for higher education holds up or even grows when the economy goes south. That's why you hardly ever hear of an accredited college going under.

But the financial events of recent weeks have been momentous enough to shake even sturdy ivory towers. Giant Boston University and tiny (but wealthy) Grinnell College in Iowa are among those delaying big projects, while numerous schools will postpone fundraising campaigns.

"I'm not going to press people now for a lot of funding. The time just wouldn't be right," said John Fry, president of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, who moved about $1 million from other programs to bolster aid this year. Fry says a fundraising campaign will likely be delayed and scaled back, and it will likely focus more on financial aid.

Generally, Fry says F&M is in good shape, but he's glad it recently finished several big projects. Now isn't the time to start one. And asking parents to pay substantially more next year would be "unseemly," he said, echoing the thoughts of several presidents interviewed this week.

For the entire article, see "Financial Meltdown Hits Ivory Tower" in the October 10, 2008, issue of the Washington Post.


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