We as a country may have seen the worst of the economic downturn, but colleges and universities are beginning to confront major budget issues as federal stimulus money runs out. Here’s a look at how some major institutions are dealing with the crunch.
- Yale University announced on Feb. 3 that in the face of a $150 million budget gap, it was considering measures like salary freezes and reducing the number of graduate students admitted, among other things. On Feb. 23, another strategy was decided on — a 4.8 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, room and board.
- To help estimate how much your (or your child’s) education will cost you, the New York Times offers a handy cost calculator.
- Cornell and Princeton universities both laid off or offered early retirement plans to hundreds of staff.
- Williams College, a liberal arts college in Massachusetts, replaced student loans with scholarships two years ago but is returning to loans and payment plans to combat a $500 million drop in endowment funds.
- In 2009, Stanford University planned cutbacks in the Libraries and Academic Information Resources department, as well as the School of Engineering’s Center for Professional Development; the student affairs division; the development office, the Division of Land, Buildings and Real Estate; and the Alumni Association.
So what’s happening on the University of Missouri campuses?
- In Columbia, while undergraduate in-state tuition has been frozen, talks of tuition increases in graduate and professional programs are in the works.
- A Feb. 2 letter from Robert B. Stein, commissioner of higher education, outlined the problems the UM System will face when Missouri’s stimulus money runs out. The letter included several possible cost-saving ideas, such as:
- Privatization of one or more institutions.
- Students who receive state financial aid and do not graduate could be required to pay the state back.
- An increase in class size.
- Elimination of athletic programs.
- An increase in faculty workload, with the goal being a reduction in the number of faculty.
- Reduction or elimination of depth and breadth of some program offerings.
No concrete decisions have been made, but one thing is clear — we’re in for change.