Education

Financial stability of colleges to be a concern for prospective students

Posted May 28, 2020 5:01 p.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2020 5:29 p.m. EDT

— Most students think about whether or not they can afford to attend a certain college, not whether or not that college can afford to educate them.

But as the coronavirus pandemic causes significant financial squeezes at institutions of higher education, this consideration will be one prospective students need to factor into their decisions.

"It has been a difficult road and we have lots of things that we are still trying to figure out," said Maria Lumpkin, the president of Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh.

Lumpkin says the school has cut staff and a million dollars in expenses, while receiving $7 million in assistance funding to stay afloat.

"We have a lot of smaller private schools that we already financially struggling," said Brooke Daly, the owner of Advantage College Planning.

College counselors like Daly say that students should examine the financial health of a university before enrolling.

"I think it's also being a smart consumer," Daly said.

A recent study predicted that about one-third of the nations private colleges would not survive the pandemic due to financial issues.

Right now, Saint Augustine's plans to have students on campus in the fall. Lumpkin believes the university is creating a sustainable path forward.

"We are a resilient community, and we have gone through tough times before," Lumpkin said.

Another small private school in Raleigh, William Peace University, told WRAL News in a statement that despite the recent happenings, its current summer enrollment and registrations for the fall semester are both up over last year for returning students. William Peace does expect its new student enrollment to be down, however.

You can check the financial health of any private college in North Carolina here.

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