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Vermont Likely to Close 3 State Colleges

VTKilarney

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Also, the capacity of the state to increase funding to the colleges is non-existent thanks to the impact of Covid-19 on the state coffers.

Any solution is going to have to be independent of state funds.
 

deadheadskier

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If the shutdown costs are 25 million, pay it and be done. To spend another 25 million this year, then pay the 25 million shutdown costs next year, you are simply kicking the can down the road. It's a money loser, time to close it down.
Maybe correct, maybe not.

Johnson has been around since 1828. Lyndon since 1911. Clearly they've had many, many years that they were solvent.

I'd be curious to know what their balance sheets looked like in recent years that they were solvent. What was the enrollment and revenue? What were the operating costs? How much money did the state contribute those years?

What I've read is the primary reduction in enrollment is due to a reduction in VT high school graduates. The school age population is shrinking, but the rate of people still going to college remains the same. Can NVU operations be scaled down to a point that it's solvent again? I think Jeb Spaulding needs to make a very clear and data driven argument that it can't be done. He owes that to the students, donors and the local communities who will suffer greatly from these closures.

If he has done this, I'd like to read the study. I've only seen the news pieces, which really don't provide enough information for people to have an informed opinion.

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VTKilarney

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You act as if the college system has just woken up and realized that they need to fix the problem.

They have been trying for years. And look where it got them.
 

VTKilarney

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I can spot one of the problems.

In 1994, in-state tuition at Lyndon was $3,168. Adjusted for inflation, in today's dollars that is $5,517.60.

In 2020, tuition is $11,592.

It's the same for out of state tuition. $7,320 in 1994. Adjusted for inflation that's $12,749. Actual tuition for 2020: $25,680

And yet the school is broke.
 

uphillklimber

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Maybe correct, maybe not.

Johnson has been around since 1828. Lyndon since 1911. Clearly they've had many, many years that they were solvent.

I'd be curious to know what their balance sheets looked like in recent years that they were solvent. What was the enrollment and revenue? What were the operating costs? How much money did the state contribute those years?

What I've read is the primary reduction in enrollment is due to a reduction in VT high school graduates. The school age population is shrinking, but the rate of people still going to college remains the same. Can NVU operations be scaled down to a point that it's solvent again? I think Jeb Spaulding needs to make a very clear and data driven argument that it can't be done. He owes that to the students, donors and the local communities who will suffer greatly from these closures.

If he has done this, I'd like to read the study. I've only seen the news pieces, which really don't provide enough information for people to have an informed opinion.

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That would make an interesting study, but being solvent in past years doesn't make for a legitimate reason to keep it in operation. Just ask the folks at Sears, K-mart, Mammoth mart, etc.... Each of these had ample opportunity to turn things around, so I am not against a college trying to weather tough times. But if it has been doing it for some time, I'd just look at COVID-19 as being the final straw. Much like any other business.
 

deadheadskier

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You act as if the college system has just woken up and realized that they need to fix the problem.

They have been trying for years. And look where it got them.
Yeah, not really.

I'm just asking for a data driven discussion. What has been done already? How many expenses (read positions) have been cut to try and balance their budget?

If it can't be done, so be it, but show the community why. That's all. Most people are just seeing news articles severely lacking in data.

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dblskifanatic

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Funny tuition has skyrocketed yet starting salaries have not proportionally


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Domeskier

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Funny tuition has skyrocketed yet starting salaries have not proportionally

As others have mentioned, tuition has skyrocketed in large part because students have easy access to loans and administrators are exploiting that. A humanities degree from most colleges and universities is clearly not worth $200,000, but as long as we continue to encourage everyone to go to college and let them borrow whatever they need to do so, we won't see tuition going down until the student loan bubble bursts.
 

JoeB-Z

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"until the student loan bubble bursts." I think it has burst but by and large the new suckers keep showing up. Look at the endless articles from graduates (or dropouts) in hopeless loan hell.

NVU not slimming down to one school was a planning disaster.
 

BenedictGomez

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Harvard giving the money back.

Is that right? I hadnt seen that.

This has been a great recent development whereby the American public is "shaming" these entities which are taking advantage of COVID-19 crisis funds even though they obviously don't really need it. Shake Shack returned their money this week as well.
 

gladerider

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Funny tuition has skyrocketed yet starting salaries have not proportionally


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schools have financial problems and right away you point to salaries and tuitions. yes they certainly big factors but to get a holistic picture, you need to also look at the state funding over the same period as well as enrollment size.

the problems at the US colleges and University have been known for a while now. the problem is more complex than meets the eye.

most schools that have weathered over the years are two categories: 1) well known brand names like Harvard and Darthmouth - in essence these schools are unlikely to have any enrollment issues; and, 2) schools that have excellent symbiosis with businesses.

i am a flatlander but my understanding is that Vermont is a second worst state to start a business. you cannot expect to have a thriving state school system while making it very difficult for businesses to survive. a quick google gives me this.
https://vermontbiz.com/news/2019/august/01/study-vermont-poor-place-start-business


another interesting read
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-03-06/how-universities-make-cities-great
 

BenedictGomez

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As others have mentioned, tuition has skyrocketed in large part because students have easy access to loans and administrators are exploiting that. A humanities degree from most colleges and universities is clearly not worth $200,000, but as long as we continue to encourage everyone to go to college and let them borrow whatever they need to do so, we won't see tuition going down until the student loan bubble bursts.

You're assuming it's "allowed" to burst.

But yes, few understand how serious a situation this is; the combined debt is almost incomprehensible.
 

cdskier

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Is that right? I hadnt seen that.

This has been a great recent development whereby the American public is "shaming" these entities which are taking advantage of COVID-19 crisis funds even though they obviously don't really need it. Shake Shack returned their money this week as well.

They're not really "giving it back", they're simply allocating it entirely to student financial aid:
https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/4/21/harvard-stimulus-funds-financial-aid/

To be fair, I don't know if they even can "give it back" as unlike the small business loans (i.e. the Shake Shack scenario), it doesn't seem colleges had to apply for the money and were simply given it automatically based on a set formula. Kind of ironic that there are senators, etc blasting Harvard on twitter when it was actually the wording in the very bill that they voted for that created the problem in the first place. Just goes to show how many people don't read the details of the bills they pass.
 

VTKilarney

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Is that right? I hadnt seen that.

This has been a great recent development whereby the American public is "shaming" these entities which are taking advantage of COVID-19 crisis funds even though they obviously don't really need it. Shake Shack returned their money this week as well.

I have a theory that something else is going on with Shake Shack. There is a provision that was slipped into the Paycheck Protection Act that requires businesses that take funds to remain neutral in any union organizing effort. My bet is that Shake Shack learned about this provision and returned the money in a nanosecond.
 

uphillklimber

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I have a theory that something else is going on with Shake Shack. There is a provision that was slipped into the Paycheck Protection Act that requires businesses that take funds to remain neutral in any union organizing effort. My bet is that Shake Shack learned about this provision and returned the money in a nanosecond.

There were strings attached. But yet, the Kennedy center for the arts was allowed to lay off their staff after getting their money. It's always about the money.
 

BenedictGomez

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Kind of ironic that there are senators, etc blasting Harvard on twitter when it was actually the wording in the very bill that they voted for that created the problem in the first place. Just goes to show how many people don't read the details of the bills they pass.

No, they did read the bill, they did know, and they did not have a choice. It was either agree to the bill with these various ridiculous "goodies" included, or let thousands of Americans starve. They chose the lesser of two evils.
 
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