Now Is the Time for Hard Decisions
Like many enrollment-dependent colleges, our institution, Ithaca College, has historically focused on reaching a certain number of targeted students to support its operations. More students has meant more tuition and room and board dollars to maintain the status quo for one more academic year. It is widely understood now, however, that this business model is vulnerable and unsustainable. And while COVID has dramatically exposed this truth, it did not create it. The pandemic has impacted enrollment numbers at our college for this academic year, but it is not responsible for a shifting demographic trend -- one that points with clarity toward a coming enrollment cliff for institutions like ours, a private residential college in the Northeast.
Originally published: February 18, 2021
Author: Shirley Collado
Institution: Ithaca College
Published by: Inside Higher Ed