Strong opening from a Los Angeles Times story on Whittier College’s woes.
“The grounds of Whittier College are lush and the buildings stately. But the once-bustling quad is often all but empty these days, students say, and inside the Wanberg Hall dormitory, carpets smell musty, the WiFi is spotty, and 25 students share two restrooms with toilets that frequently break down and take ages to fix.”
If you’ve been following the decline of modestly endowed private liberal arts colleges, you know the rest of the story, including declining enrollment, plunging revenue, a divided board, a president under fire, the elimination of some sports (and subjects of study), and the selling of the president’s house.
Why would anyone shopping colleges choose one on the financial ropes? That’s the tipping point the bottom third of private liberal arts colleges are trying desperately to avoid. Similarly, if you were wanting to making a charitable contribution to a college or university, would you choose one with an uncertain future?