Are Small Colleges Doomed? Not So Fast

Most small and midsize private colleges appear to be financially secure, says a report from the Council of Independent Colleges.

The Financial Resilience of Independent Colleges and Universities” looked at financial data from the years 2001 to 2014 at 559 private institutions. Researchers analyzed resource sufficiency, operating results, financial assets, and debt management.

The study found that 67 percent of the colleges are “at or above the … threshold of financial viability.” Financial indicators show that most of the institutions have improved their financial health since the 2007-9 recession, the report says.

Long-term financial resiliency isn’t uniformly tied to characteristics like enrollment, tuition and fees, discount rates, or endowment size, the report adds.

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