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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time to rally for the Alma Mater

by folkbum

This is bad news:
A dip in enrollment and the pressures of an economic decline will cause Beloit College to cut up to 40 jobs at the small liberal arts school--roughly a tenth of its workforce, officials have announced.

Total enrollment is down by a seemingly small number: 36 students. But tuition comprises two-thirds of the revenue for the 1,300-student campus, where students pay roughly $38,000 per year in total expenses.

Add to that a shrinking endowment and a forecast of lower-than-usual annual fundraising, and the college is facing a $1 million shortfall, Interim President Dick Niemiec said.

"We're a tuition-driven school and we're down, and also what I'm doing is planning for next year's budget," Niemiec said. "If the economy continues, and the number of students doesn't pick up, we'll be in a position where we'll be in a balanced budget."

It's not clear exactly why enrollment is down, but Niemiec said anecdotal information indicates students are dropping out of Beloit temporarily, delaying the start of their college years or choosing lower-priced institutions because of the economy.
At a small school like Beloit, 40 people is a devastating cut. I can't imagine what the effects on campus will be.

If I had to guess, there are hardly any Beloit alumni reading this (I'm betting two, besides me). However, if you value the quality of the commentary you see here--or if you need a tax deduction--stop by and drop some coin in their bucket.

(And, as a complete aside, mad props to reporter Erica Perez for using the word comprises correctly. That's one that really gets under my skin when it's wrong--and it usually is. But not this time!)

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