Nationwide, more than 500 colleges and universities show warning signs in two or more metrics. The problems were not evenly spread among states. Combined, Ohio and Illinois have more than 10 percent of all the institutions potentially facing trouble. Ohio has 36 institutions with two or more warning signs. Illinois has 26.
In a recent release from The Hechinger Report, a statement that dozens of colleges and universities nationwide will start 2021 already under financial stress. Colleges have spent the last decade grappling with declining enrollments and in some cases weakening support from state governments.
A new study argues that skyrocketing college costs are a result of university leadership not prioritizing college affordability over profit, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). The ACTA looked at data from more than 1,500 four-year public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities, found that even though institutional spending has risen over the years alongside tuition, four-year graduation rates have not kept up.
“The spending habits of higher education have gotten us very poor results,” ACTA President Michael B. Poliakoff told analysts. “We are taking a system of higher education that has been called ‘the envy of the world’ into a situation in which it seems to be engineering its own meltdown.”
Poliakoff added that many colleges were not financially strapped due to diminishing state and federal funding, but rather due to the “investment in bloated administration and student services programs that keep ratcheting up the price of tuition while not increasing that most important outcome, which is the completion of the degree.”
A new study argues that skyrocketing college costs are a result of university leadership not prioritizing college affordability over profit. Many colleges and universities have a history of mismanaging their finances, increasing spending even as enrollments fell, or going deeply into debt to construct new buildings.
Over the last decade, enrollment slipped as the economy grew. Demographics are working against institutions in parts of the country as the number of teens — and thus the number of high school graduates — drops. Adding to the problem in Illinois, 49.8% of all High School seniors go out of state to attend college.
Another problem looming for the horizon is President Biden’s wish to offer free tuition to community colleges (up to two years) to all students, which will limit the Freshman and Sophomore classes in colleges and universities.
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