Colleges face declining enrollment

Colleges face declining enrollment

October 10, 2019 3 By Stanley Isaacs


ADRIENNE: ONGOING TURBULENCE IN
HIGHER EDUCATION. THAT’S THE REASON MARQUETTE’S
PRESIDENT SAID THE UNIVERSITY
ANNOUNCED A 2.5% REDUCTION IN
ITS STAFF. PART OF THE DECREASE COMES FROM
LAYOFFS. THE REST IN UNFILLED POSITIONS. SO WHAT’S BEHIND THE TURBULENCE? AND, ARE OTHER PRIVATE SCHOOLS
FEELING THE PINCH? “UPFRONT” REPORTER MATT SMITH
WENT TO FIND OUT. [BELLS CHIMING]
MATT: MARKETS HISTORY IS OFTEN
TIMES ITS GREATEST ASSET. AND MORE THAN A CENTURY AFTER
ITS INCEPTION THE CAMPUS
, APPROACHES A NEW CROSSROADS AT
THE INTERSECTION OF
SUSTAINABILITY AND CHANGE.>>OBVIOUSLY, WHEN YOU MAKE ANY
DECISIONS LIKE WE HAD TO MAKE,
THEY’RE HARD BECAUSE YOU’RE
IMPACTING PEOPLE AND THE CAMPUS. MATT: UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
MICHAEL LOVELL HAS TALKED ABOUT
THE CHANGE A LOT, A NEW ERA FOR
HIGHER EDUCATION POSES NEW
CHALLENGES FOR COLLEGES AND
UNIVERISTIES NATIONWIDE. MARQUETTE’S RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT
INCLUDES 24 LAYOFFS AND 49
POSITIONS THAT WON’T BE FILLED.>>THE CONSUMER, PEOPLE ARE
QUESTIONING THE VALUE OF HIGHER
EDUCATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
OUR HISTORY, SO THERE’S A LOT OF
PRESSURE ON PRICING, THERE’S A
LOT OF COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS, AND YOU REALLY HAVE TO SHOW YOUR
RETURN ON THE INVESTMENT. MATT: NOT ONLY THAT THE NUMBERS
TELL THE STORY. AN APPROACHING DECLINE IN
STUDENT POPULATION BEGINNING IN
20 20’S — 2026, A 15% TO 25%
DROP IN COLLEGE-AGE STUDENTS. MR. UDEN: OUR REGION IS GOING TO
BE PARTICULARLY HARD HIT BY A
CHANGE IN DEMOGRAPHICS BY
TRADITIONALLY AGED HIGH SCHOOL
GRADUATES LOOKING TO COLLEGE. MATT: THE CHANGE GOES BACK TO
2008 AND THE START OF THE GREAT
RECESSION. MORE FAMILIES SIMPLY HAD FEWER
BABIES WITH THE IMPACT JUST NOW
>>YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO
CHANGE, WHICH IS HARD, BECAUSE
THE UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN SETUP
FOR A CERTAIN WAY FOR A LONG TIME. BUT, I THINK, AGAIN, THE FORCES
ARE GOING TO CAUSE ALL OF US TO
CHANGE. WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE DIFFERENT,
SEVEN YEARS FROM NOW WHEN WE
HAVE THIS GREAT DROP IN THE
NUMBER OF STUDENTS COMING TO OUR
INSTITUTIONS, IT’S GOING TO
CHANGE US. IT REALLY IS. MATT: A FEW MILES NORTH AT
CONCORIDA UNIVERSITY IN MEQUON,
THE CONVERSATION IS QUITE
SIMILAR TOO. HOW TO STAY TRUE TO ITS
INSTITUTIONAL ROOTS WHILE
MEETING THE COMPETITIVE CHANGE. MR. UDEN: PEOPLE ARE RIGHTFULLY
ASKING SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
IN HIGHER EDUCATION. IS IT WORTH THE COST? THERE ARE A LOT MORE
COMPETITORS. CERTAINLY, WE HAVE SOME AMAZING
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT
REPUTATION, BUT THERE ARE
NATIONAL PLAYERS, ONLINE PLAYERS
THAT DIDN’T EXIST 10 YEARS AGO. MATT: THIS PAST WEEK, CARTHAGE
COLLEGE ANNOUNCED AN APPROACH OF
ITS OWN AS WELL. A 30% DROP IN ITS TUITION
STICKER PRICE.>>THE REACTION HAS BEEN NEARLY
UNIFORMLY POSITIVE. MATT: STUDENTS WILL PAY THE SAME
OUT OF POCKET. THE COLLEGE WILL JUST REDUCE ITS
FINANCIAL AID TO PAINT A MORE
REALISTIC OUT OF POCKET PICTURE.>>WE’RE ALL THINKING ABOUT HOW
WE CAN BE AS ATTRACTIVE AS
POSSIBLE AND SERVE AS MANY
STUDENTS AS WE CAN. MATT: WHAT’S THE COMPETITION
LIKE, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE
GOING TO START DEALING WITH A
MUCH SMALLER POOL?>>WE’RE ALREADY SEEING STUDENTS
AND FAMILIES MAKING DECISIONS
FOR AS LITTLE AS $500 A YEAR,
WHERE THEIR SON OR DAUGHTER GOES
TO SCHOOL. AND, IT’S NOT UNCOMMON TO GET
STUDENTS WHO’VE APPLIED HERE AND
WANT TO ENROLL HERE TO SAY LOOK
THIS UNIVERSITY GAVE ME THIS
MUCH, WILL YOU MATCH IT? ADRIENNE: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
FOR LARGER COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES? MATT: EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT
THESE NUMBERS, 15% TO 25%,
AFFECTING EVERY UNIVERSITY IN
THE MIDWEST. THERE WAS SOME REALIGNING A
COUPLE YEARS AGO, BUT EVERYONE
IS LOOKING AT THESE NUMBERS AND
PROJECTIONS AND HOW BEST TO MEET
THE DEMAND IN THE COMING YEARS. ADRIENNE: WHERE DO WE GO FROM
HERE? WHAT ABOUT 10 YEARS DOWN THE
ROAD FOR FAMILIES? MATT: THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. ARE WE GOING TO SEE DRAMATIC
INCREASES IN TUITION? YOU HAVE LESS STUDENTS AND YOU
WANT THE SAME AMOUNT OF
SERVICES, MONEY HAS TO COME FROM
SOMEWHERE. BUT MARQUETTE AND EVERYONE WE
TALKED TO SAID THEY ARE SO
COGNIZANT OF THE FACT THAT
EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT THE
STICKER PRICE THAT TUITION
HAS TO COME UNDER CONTROL, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY
OPTIONS AND SO MANY SKEPTICS OF
A FOUR YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE AT
THIS POINT. THE TURBULENCE, AS MARQUETTE
SAID, IS REALLY THERE. ADRIENNE: GOOD REPORTING ON
HIGHER EDUCATION, MATT, THANK
YOU. NEXT, RETIREMENT INSECURITY. WHAT THE STATE IS DOING TO HELP
PEOPLE PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. AND LATER, CONCERNS OVER THE
NEXT GENERATION OF FIGHTER JETS
THAT COULD BE COMING TO MADI