As a noted economist, Chapman President Jim Doti has a special interest in the economy of higher education, a field in which he has published widely. Add to that a commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education, published March 30, 2015, in which he looks at the recent shutdown of Virginia’s Sweet Briar College and examines the risks to other colleges and universities posed by tuition discounting.
“An analysis of Sweet Briar’s fiscal travails and those of other colleges in similar straits suggests that Sweet Briar’s announced closing should have come as no surprise and that its situation is not an anomaly,” says Doti in the article. “In analyzing Sweet Briar’s finances, one factor seems to stand out: an imbalance between changes in its tuition and its institutional grants, known as discounts. The college raised tuition at an average annual rate of 4.5 percent in recent years, from $26,995 in 2008-9 to $33,605 in 2013-14, according to Education Department data. During the same period, however, its discounts increased at an average annual rate of 15 percent.”
For more of this hard-hitting analysis, see the article in the Chronicle. (Available to subscribers.)