Enrollment has been on a steady decrease, according to the university’s fact book, and as a result, Malone’s overall financial landscape is being re-evaluated.
Since the 2009 academic year, enrollment has been decreasing each year. Enrollment for 2009-2010 was 2208 and for 2012-13, the number is 1921 according to the fact book.
Joy Brathwaite, vice president for finance and business affairs, said the budget is 75 percent dependent on student tuition. It would follow then that the lower the enrollment, the lower the budget is as well.
Brathwaite said the budget is usually between 39 and 40 million. Last year’s budget was a little over 39 million, which was down from the 2010-2011 academic year with a budget of more than 41.5 million. This year’s budget information has not been released.
With a lower budget one might ask which areas are being affected. Brathwaite said there are three areas which remain top priority and won’t be compromised on, which are student learning and teaching, sharing the Malone story and marketing and recruitment.
Brathwaite said the report regarding spending is still in progress so she could not specify which areas are being cut.
She said that the school is trying to normalize the tuition discount rate, which is how much aid students receive from Malone directly.
“We are just trying to find a balance between the aid we need to give students so we can succeed here versus what we can afford,” Brathwaite said.
In regard to tuition, it has increased every year but low enrollment numbers may cause a hike in costs.
“We are looking at different ways to approach that,” Brathwaite said. “I’m not ready to share what we’re going to do.”
She did say, however, that they are trying to stay on the low end of other peers.
With the HLC visit this fall, a recommendation they made was for strategic planning for the future and a normalized discount rate.
Brathwaite said enrollment recovery is what is most important right now. The university did not have a vice president for enrollment for several months, which undoubtedly has affected enrollment numbers. Michelle Searer picked up the position for the 2012-2013 academic year. Searer was reached for an interview but chose not to comment.