Tough financial times are hitting many colleges, and “some are downsizing staff, while others are slashing athletic programs and even selling off buildings”.
Hardest hit are ‘mid-tier private schools’.
Budget woes are particularly acute at small, mid-tier private schools, which lack the massive endowments and guaranteed stream of top students of their more prestigious counterparts. In an effort to compete with higher-profile competitors, many of these schools borrowed heavily to fund expensive construction projects during the early 2000s, only to see their endowments shrink when the financial crisis hit. Making matters worse, tuition revenue has dwindled with declining enrollment.
One example of such a school is Ashland University in Oregon.
The “glory days” are gone.
… Such colleges ‘might have been doing fine in the glory days,’ when they had ‘more students coming in than you knew what to do with,’ she said, ‘but that doesn’t work now.'”
Students who face little chance of getting into an Ivy League school or select liberal arts college (Williams or Amherst in the East, Pomona in the West) are increasingly asking: why should my family pay $30,000 to $50,000 a year (the exact amount unknown at the time of application because of uncertainties arising from massive price discrimination in the form of so-called “scholarship” aid) to go to a mid-quality private school when for somewhat less, say $20,000 to $30,000 a year, I can go to a top public flagship school of roughly equal quality?