College Financing

February 24, 1971

Report Outline
Money Church on Nation's Campuses
American Patterns of College Support
Financial Innovation and Reform Ideas
Special Focus

Money Church on Nation's Campuses

Plight of Many Colleges: Cutbacks and Closings

The great money problem looms over the American campus this year. It has, for the moment at least, replaced issues of war and peace, riots and drugs as the preoccupation of the college community. Emphasizing the extent of the problem, the incoming president of Harvard, Derek Bok, announced at his first press conference that the nation's oldest and most lavishly endowed university (over $1 billion) is “heading toward a period of financial stringency. There will,” he said, “be a great deal of attention paid toward cost-consciousness.” Last year the university ran a deficit of $760,000 for the first time in 25 years.

Bok's remarks appeared in the midst of a growing stream of announcements and reports issuing from colleges, universities, and educational foundations and associations—all of them testifying that most institutions of higher education are headed for serious financial trouble. In fact, many of them are already suffering the pangs of financial starvation. And the list is headed by some of the country's most prestigious institutions. Last fall Yale University ordered a freeze on hiring in the face of an anticipated budget deficit of $1.5 million to $2 million. Columbia University has announced plans to curtail services and programs by 8.5 per cent next year and by 15 per cent the following year in an attempt to end a budget deficit. The deficit this year is estimated at $15.3 million, almost 25 per cent of Columbia's basic $65 million budget for operations. Cornell University will reduce its budget over the next two years in an effort to avoid depleting the school's unrestricted endowment.

Many small institutions have already disappeared—21 of them within the past year—while many others are firing faculty and dismantling entire departments. Hiram Scott College in Scottsbluff, Neb., dismissed about one-third of the faculty members at the 642-student institution. As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 11, 1971, “the dismissals virtually wiped out the departments of foreign languages, fine arts, and music, and majors in chemistry, physics and economics.” Students returning for second semester classes at John J. Pershing College in Beatrice, Neb., found the school closed for lack of funds.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
College Financing
Oct. 25, 2019  College Costs
Nov. 18, 2016  Student Debt
Oct. 21, 2011  Student Debt
Jan. 25, 2008  Student Aid
Dec. 05, 2003  Rising College Costs
Nov. 20, 1992  Paying for College
May 19, 1989  What's Behind High College Price Tags
May 23, 1986  Student Aid
Aug. 14, 1981  Tuition Tax Credits
Feb. 24, 1971  College Financing
Nov. 27, 1968  Financing of Private Colleges
Mar. 25, 1959  Costs of Education
May 04, 1955  Higher Education For The Millions
College Financing and Funding