Forbes assessed the operational viability and balance sheet strength of more than 900 private colleges in the U.S.
Its investigation found that a year after COVID-19 shut down campuses, colleges returned to normal, writes Emma Whitford with Matt Schifrin for Forbes.
Room and board revenues rebounded as well as auxiliary revenue from in-person events like reunions, conferences, weddings, and sporting events.
College finances were also aided with trickle amounts of federal assistance from the American Rescue Plan.
Underlying conditions, though, point to difficulties ahead.
Hundreds of the nation’s private, not-for-profit colleges have dwindling enrollments, tiny endowments, and few reserves.
“Small liberal arts colleges continue to be stressed. All the pandemic did was simply delay the inevitable,” said higher education finance veteran Fred Prager, Senior Managing Director at Hilltop Securities.
Driving much of it is the fact that the number of college-going 18- to 22-year-olds will decline around 2025. There is also the impact of inflation, driving up labor and other costs.
See the entire list showing private college finances at Forbes.
Here’s a Wall Street Journal ranking of the top U.S. colleges from 2022.