Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
Kelsey Baak Contributor
Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran sent an email to faculty and staff last year telling them that the enrollment for the 2012–2013 school year was below the “budgeted target number [of] 375 students.”
Last spring, the Index’s Kelsey Donk reported that Dean of Admissions Eric Staab said the enrollment total was 25 students below the goal, resulting in 350 committed students, though he also said that he expected that number to shift over the summer.
Since then, the enrollment number did shift, but not to K’s advantage. There are 335 new first year students and 10 transfer students this year, which amounts to 345 new students overall — 30 below the targeted number.
The goal for 2013 will be around 380 students in total, a number that includes both first-years and transfers.
“We have already taken several steps this year to help us to meet this goal,” said Staab of next year’s matriculating class.
One of these steps is tripling the number of students in the college’s database of prospective students.
“With this increased number of prospects, an improved college website, marketing and branding efforts, and steps we are taking to reach out to some of our key Michigan markets, we feel that 380 is within reach,” said Staab.
Although K has some new ideas for attracting future students, the college had to do a lot to balance this year’s budget. According to Vice President for Business and Finance Jim Prince, fewer students were studying away this year, which decreased the amount spent by the college. Even so, additional financial maneuvers were made, including a $110,000 reduction from the school’s contingency fund, in order to balance the budget.
Even with these changes, the college was still able to give intended raises to faculty and staff, and there will be no tuition hikes as of now.
“At no point did the Board of Trustees determine that as a result of the drop in enrollment, there should be an increase in tuition,” Prince said in an email. “All yearly increases are carefully analyzed by the administration and by the board, and are not increased based on enrollment dropping. It is the goal of the College to meet its strategic goals while at the same time carefully considering ways to slow down the growth of tuition increases.”