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  • Honestly, the real death bed is coming in 15-20 years. The predicted birth rate for 2021 has been adjusted to be almost HALF of what it was in 2001. That's half as many kids being born as a generation ago.

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    • Originally posted by iupgroundhog View Post
      Kind of makes sense. They had a certain amount of people willing to pay full price, so when you discount that...people paying full price pay less. Yeah you pickup new students, but you need to pick up A LOT of new students.

      And it becomes a brand battle. Some college that isn't well marketed, isn't going to massively gain enrollment. Discounting is a dangerous game. High risk. It can work great. But, if it fails...it can fail bad.

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      • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post
        Honestly, the real death bed is coming in 15-20 years. The predicted birth rate for 2021 has been adjusted to be almost HALF of what it was in 2001. That's half as many kids being born as a generation ago.
        By then, we'll have a brick and mortar campus on Jupiter to cater to new aliens that were discovered. Or kids that want to get farther away from home.

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        • Originally posted by complaint_hopeful View Post

          Kind of makes sense. They had a certain amount of people willing to pay full price, so when you discount that...people paying full price pay less. Yeah you pickup new students, but you need to pick up A LOT of new students.

          And it becomes a brand battle. Some college that isn't well marketed, isn't going to massively gain enrollment. Discounting is a dangerous game. High risk. It can work great. But, if it fails...it can fail bad.
          When I was in grad school a professor called in the "Bed Bath & Beyond Principle." People get used to your discounting and only expect more. Only the desperate and uninformed pay full price.

          That's the race to the bottom for the private schools. Ten years ago there were a bunch of schools getting close to average discount at 50% of sticker. Now it's the average with some schools at a 60% discount. Others are doing a "tuition reset" but they're having a hard time overcoming those who think little Johnny and Suzy actually earned a $25,000 scholarship.

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          • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post

            When I was in grad school a professor called in the "Bed Bath & Beyond Principle." People get used to your discounting and only expect more. Only the desperate and uninformed pay full price.

            That's the race to the bottom for the private schools. Ten years ago there were a bunch of schools getting close to average discount at 50% of sticker. Now it's the average with some schools at a 60% discount. Others are doing a "tuition reset" but they're having a hard time overcoming those who think little Johnny and Suzy actually earned a $25,000 scholarship.
            Indeed.

            And schools with a stronger brand/prestigious reputation can charge more. The PASSHE schools aren't that. And I'm not sure that creating a new entity in the Triad's with no marketing reputation is going to help. Maybe, IF marketed correctly...it will pay off. But, that will be some time down the road.

            I hate to say it, but the time for these schools to adjust was 10 years ago. I know they have to play the hand dealt to them, but it's way late in the game.

            And all the cuts schools do has a quality impact too. You can only get rid of so much before it hurts the product. And it's not like many of these college towns and colleges have a lot to do in the way of entertainment as is. Then you strip other aspects of education.

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            • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

              Yea...Academics and consulting companies are REALLY good at producing reports and power point presentations that look and sound very convincing...until you start running the numbers for yourself (if you have access to them). Often you get a sense of - "Wait a minute...THAT doesn't make sense!" - and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. COlleges, and college systems, are great at "reality avoidance." What I mean is that they avoid the reality that is staring them in the face and pin their hopes on increased enrolement and the $'s that that brings to paper over the reality of mismanagement and failure to adjust to current realities. I mean, look what it took to trim some of the majors from some of the PASSHE colleges? It took 10+ years of sustained system enrolement decline for them to finally say, hey, maybe we need to cut some majors to save some money!

              This kind of seems like an exercise in rearaning the deck chairs enrollement wise. Yea, the groupings might see some increase in enrolement, but by and large, this enrolement increase is most likely going to come from other PASSHE schools. Also in PA, you're dealing with fewer and fewer deck chairs to rearange. The fundamental problem is that the PASSHE has excess capacity...Only two ways to fix that problem, either you cut capacity at all schools and try to compete as smaller colleges OR you cut the weakest colleges and focus your resources on the most financially viable schools. Monkeying around at the margins, while giving the impression of addressing the problem, really doesn't. This nip-tuck approach might have worked 8 or 9 years ago, but it is a little late for it now.
              Ahhhh... Finally, as a consulting professional, the real necessary pain that I mentioned previously is being realized. In my opinion, the only way to solve this problem is to lop off excess capacity by closing some schools. It is also essential for the legislature to repair the mess they have contributed to creating. I don't know what the excess capacity is in PA but I suspect it would be somewhere in the 50% range. Also, Pitt, Temple, and Penn State have to be brought into the solution because they are a big part of the state colleges' mess. If they come onboard maybe there is some life left for some state schools becoming remote campuses of PSU, Temple, and Pitt (like UPJ).

              Comment


              • Originally posted by BADinPA View Post

                Ahhhh... Finally, as a consulting professional, the real necessary pain that I mentioned previously is being realized. In my opinion, the only way to solve this problem is to lop off excess capacity by closing some schools. It is also essential for the legislature to repair the mess they have contributed to creating. I don't know what the excess capacity is in PA but I suspect it would be somewhere in the 50% range. Also, Pitt, Temple, and Penn State have to be brought into the solution because they are a big part of the state colleges' mess. If they come onboard maybe there is some life left for some state schools becoming remote campuses of PSU, Temple, and Pitt (like UPJ).
                When your first move is to state that "no campuses will be closed", it makes you wonder how serious the plan could possibly be?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by complaint_hopeful View Post

                  Indeed.

                  And schools with a stronger brand/prestigious reputation can charge more. The PASSHE schools aren't that. And I'm not sure that creating a new entity in the Triad's with no marketing reputation is going to help. Maybe, IF marketed correctly...it will pay off. But, that will be some time down the road.

                  I hate to say it, but the time for these schools to adjust was 10 years ago. I know they have to play the hand dealt to them, but it's way late in the game.

                  And all the cuts schools do has a quality impact too. You can only get rid of so much before it hurts the product. And it's not like many of these college towns and colleges have a lot to do in the way of entertainment as is. Then you strip other aspects of education.
                  Problem is 10 years ago these schools were at record enrollment. Some twice the size they were today. Also, not one PASSHE school has the same president they had 10 years ago. A handful of the current presidents were working at their campus but weren't president (Cal and West Chester). So while it was easy to predict the demographic declines, the growth had been steady enough that most thought it was sustainable. They didn't predict private schools going to 50% and 60% discounting. Obviously Covid issues on fee refunds/reductions, enrollment declines, and added costs for shifts to distance learning.

                  I was on a call over the weekend with Edinboro's new president (the current president at Clarion). She is doing two weeks at a time at each school. On the call they said giving is way down. Athletics drives smaller annual gifts and without sports athletic giving is almost non-existent. Without students on campus they didn't have many students to call alumni for those smaller gifts. In general, when there is economic uncertainty charitable giving is way down. Without the ability to hold big events or visit alumni in person, major gifts are down too. So we've also that that going for us. At least Harrisburg gave the directive to plan for an in-person fall.

                  Also, on the call she said early marketing research shows that they need to maintain their individual identities in some way. So it may be some sort of name "at Edinboro" or "Edinboro University" with "A member of XXX" in fine print similar to what we all do with PASSHE.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                    When your first move is to state that "no campuses will be closed", it makes you wonder how serious the plan could possibly be?
                    I believe that they would close campuses if they could, but there's a lot of debt tied up in these and when you close a school, the system is responsible for that debt.

                    To the previous poster, I agree that the state gov is responsible. I just don't see them looking at the Pitt's and Penn States...since a lot of them are alumni. I just don't see the gov fixing it. IF they increased funding to the state avg for higher ed, the issues go away.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post

                      Problem is 10 years ago these schools were at record enrollment. Some twice the size they were today. Also, not one PASSHE school has the same president they had 10 years ago. A handful of the current presidents were working at their campus but weren't president (Cal and West Chester). So while it was easy to predict the demographic declines, the growth had been steady enough that most thought it was sustainable. They didn't predict private schools going to 50% and 60% discounting. Obviously Covid issues on fee refunds/reductions, enrollment declines, and added costs for shifts to distance learning.

                      I was on a call over the weekend with Edinboro's new president (the current president at Clarion). She is doing two weeks at a time at each school. On the call they said giving is way down. Athletics drives smaller annual gifts and without sports athletic giving is almost non-existent. Without students on campus they didn't have many students to call alumni for those smaller gifts. In general, when there is economic uncertainty charitable giving is way down. Without the ability to hold big events or visit alumni in person, major gifts are down too. So we've also that that going for us. At least Harrisburg gave the directive to plan for an in-person fall.

                      Also, on the call she said early marketing research shows that they need to maintain their individual identities in some way. So it may be some sort of name "at Edinboro" or "Edinboro University" with "A member of XXX" in fine print similar to what we all do with PASSHE.
                      Nice points.

                      The whole Armenti privatized without a plan thing kind of saw the state funding declining and the amount of students in the pool decreasing. Now, the things like private schools discounting, etc...no one saw that. Although it's kind of a consequence of the 1st items.

                      And I remember, oh maybe 2 Chancellors ago talking about sharing services like Purchasing. And...it...didn't...happen...until...now. Seems like many things were identified as things that should be done over the years, but few were actually done. I guess that's the point I was going for.

                      But yes - your big point that when schools have record enrollment, it's hard to see the upcoming cliff coming. And I agree. And maybe instead of 10 years I should have said 7 years ago to when enrollment started to decline.

                      And as far as the identity...that's the million dollar question. How do they keep that and not upset current and former students? What is enough? What will be too confusing? It's such a tight-rope act.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post
                        I was on a call over the weekend with Edinboro's new president (the current president at Clarion). She is doing two weeks at a time at each school. On the call they said giving is way down. Athletics drives smaller annual gifts and without sports athletic giving is almost non-existent. Without students on campus they didn't have many students to call alumni for those smaller gifts. In general, when there is economic uncertainty charitable giving is way down. Without the ability to hold big events or visit alumni in person, major gifts are down too. So we've also that that going for us. At least Harrisburg gave the directive to plan for an in-person fall.
                        "Despite many pandemic-related fundraising challenges, BU alumni and donors answered the call to assist students in their time of need. The donors’ response helped create opportunities and alleviate financial stress for students to the tune of:
                        • a 58% increase in giving from 2019
                        • a $2 million+ increase to BU’s endowment growing to more than $60 million
                        • the creation of 32 new scholarships
                        • and a nearly 70% increase in donor support on Giving Tuesday.
                        Annual gifts to the Bloom On Fund, emergency aid, and scholarships to help recruit and retain students made for a promising year of support, but the generosity didn’t stop there. BU donors also bestowed several transformational gifts, which are equally vital to the advancement of the University, including a $10 million gift from Steph Pettit ‘89 to support student-athletes, a $1.5 million gift from Craig A. Diehl Esq. '82 to establish a center for law school preparation and $500K gift from Mike Boguski to support Professional Experience Grants (PEGs).

                        Finally, in addition to immediate-use funds provided, BU donors also stepped up to show their commitment to future Huskies by pledging more than $6 million in gifts through estate intentions, an increase of $2.2 million in the previous year."


                        https://www.northcentralpa.com/educa...9fe4a2301.html

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Bart View Post

                          "Despite many pandemic-related fundraising challenges, BU alumni and donors answered the call to assist students in their time of need. The donors’ response helped create opportunities and alleviate financial stress for students to the tune of:
                          • a 58% increase in giving from 2019
                          • a $2 million+ increase to BU’s endowment growing to more than $60 million
                          • the creation of 32 new scholarships
                          • and a nearly 70% increase in donor support on Giving Tuesday.
                          Annual gifts to the Bloom On Fund, emergency aid, and scholarships to help recruit and retain students made for a promising year of support, but the generosity didn’t stop there. BU donors also bestowed several transformational gifts, which are equally vital to the advancement of the University, including a $10 million gift from Steph Pettit ‘89 to support student-athletes, a $1.5 million gift from Craig A. Diehl Esq. '82 to establish a center for law school preparation and $500K gift from Mike Boguski to support Professional Experience Grants (PEGs).

                          Finally, in addition to immediate-use funds provided, BU donors also stepped up to show their commitment to future Huskies by pledging more than $6 million in gifts through estate intentions, an increase of $2.2 million in the previous year."


                          https://www.northcentralpa.com/educa...9fe4a2301.html
                          That really is excellent. But how are you going to justify keeping that $60 million at the Bloomsburg campus?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by complaint_hopeful View Post

                            Nice points.

                            The whole Armenti privatized without a plan thing kind of saw the state funding declining and the amount of students in the pool decreasing. Now, the things like private schools discounting, etc...no one saw that. Although it's kind of a consequence of the 1st items.

                            And I remember, oh maybe 2 Chancellors ago talking about sharing services like Purchasing. And...it...didn't...happen...until...now. Seems like many things were identified as things that should be done over the years, but few were actually done. I guess that's the point I was going for.

                            But yes - your big point that when schools have record enrollment, it's hard to see the upcoming cliff coming. And I agree. And maybe instead of 10 years I should have said 7 years ago to when enrollment started to decline.

                            And as far as the identity...that's the million dollar question. How do they keep that and not upset current and former students? What is enough? What will be too confusing? It's such a tight-rope act.
                            A couple things here. About a week ago I posted a system redesign doc that reviewed the history of shared purchasing in the system. It's extensive and has been part of PASSHE since its original charter in 1983. Some things (actually the smaller line items) are more economical to purchase on a local basis, though.

                            Secondly, it was not impossible to see the enrollment decline coming. Everybody knew it. Ever since the year current college students were born we knew the demographics.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by complaint_hopeful View Post

                              I believe that they would close campuses if they could, but there's a lot of debt tied up in these and when you close a school, the system is responsible for that debt.

                              To the previous poster, I agree that the state gov is responsible. I just don't see them looking at the Pitt's and Penn States...since a lot of them are alumni. I just don't see the gov fixing it. IF they increased funding to the state avg for higher ed, the issues go away.


                              Probably way out of left field but just thinking out loud ... wonder if the PASSHE would ever consider -- in some manner -- selling off the perceived dead weight or poor-performing schools?

                              I'd have to think Pitt would love to have "Pitt-Clarion" or "Penn State-Lock Haven", etc. The towns don't get ravaged by a school closing. Things perhaps get a bit easier for the PASSHE to financially handle.

                              I guess the PASSHE downside is that's even more students their BFE branches can poach from us.

                              Of course, the way IUP is going maybe it becomes Happy Valley West.

                              Who knows ... maybe long term the majority of the PASSHE schools get gobbled up by Pitt and Penn State.

                              Quite a mess. With the privates -- the perceived 'better' schools -- offering mass discounts ... yet another massive hurdle for our lowly state schools.


                              To an extent today's kids are the children of the diploma factory 90s. Mom and Dad left IUP or Kutztown with a degree, debt and a job outside of their major. Going to college, per se, doesn't seem like it's being pushed like it was in the 80s and 90s. There are lots of other (sometimes better) paths to take. Just 25 years ago the perception was along the lines of go to college or go to McDonalds. Now for many of our majors it's go to college and straight to Starbucks or bartending.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by BADinPA View Post

                                Ahhhh... Finally, as a consulting professional, the real necessary pain that I mentioned previously is being realized. In my opinion, the only way to solve this problem is to lop off excess capacity by closing some schools. It is also essential for the legislature to repair the mess they have contributed to creating. I don't know what the excess capacity is in PA but I suspect it would be somewhere in the 50% range. Also, Pitt, Temple, and Penn State have to be brought into the solution because they are a big part of the state colleges' mess. If they come onboard maybe there is some life left for some state schools becoming remote campuses of PSU, Temple, and Pitt (like UPJ).
                                It's not like having several factories that serve the same market. There you can lop off excess capacity to fix the problem, except for some transportation considerations. Each school has it's own market, albeit overlapping to some extent. It has been shown how much it will cost to close schools, also.

                                Ultimately, the market will dictate the future of these schools. If after the first round of changes are made schools continue to lose enrollment or stay insolvent, further changes will be required. If that happens (and few people think it won't) schools may close or be repurposed. The slow demise of the schools will enable the constituent groups of the schools and the local area and local economy to absorb the loss in a less painful way. That's what I see on a macro level.

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