Ensure financial strength, affordability, and enrollment success
- Diversify the University’s sources of tuition revenue.
- Achieve desired changes in the makeup of the Mount Union student body.
- Enhance affordability through charitable gift support for scholarships that reduce the cost of attendance.
- Keep tuition increases at modest levels by increasing non-tuition sources of revenue.
- Ensure excellent management of resources to ensure quality, control costs, and limit tuition increases.
The rising cost of college and increasing student debt are in the national spotlight. Both pose significant obstacles for students seeking an undergraduate degree, while also placing added pressure on tuition-driven institutions like Mount Union that rely on enrollment revenue to fund the majority of operating costs. Declining enrollments caused by the high cost of attendance can directly and significantly impact the University’s future financial health. A highly competitive regional environment means we must work proactively as an institution to grow enrollments and increase our financial strength.
The University plans to grow enrollment to 2,700 students, requiring modest undergraduate enrollment growth (2,200 students) and more robust expansion on the graduate side (500 students).
Demographic predictions for traditional undergraduate students in Northeast Ohio will require an intent focus on expanding our definition of “student” to enable enrollment growth. On the undergraduate side, the University plans to increase the enrollment of racially and ethnically diverse American students to a total of 20% of the undergraduate student body and to increase international student enrollment to 7% of undergraduates. The University will be expanding recruitment efforts into Western Pennsylvania and Central and Southern Ohio. Other efforts aligned with enrollment growth will focus on the addition of emerging sports and active recruitment for co-curricular, non-athletic activities.
New scholarship opportunities to enhance affordability will be made possible through charitable gift support. Past Mount Union capital campaigns have focused on bricks and mortar, but a new five-year capital campaign will shift focus to building the endowment for scholarships. In addition, the institution will seek to annually secure gifts totaling $100,000 to $200,000 for the student rescue fund, enabling upperclassmen to complete their studies and earn their degrees.
Undoubtedly, increased scholarship funding will make a Mount Union education more accessible to students from all backgrounds, but a continued commitment to modest tuition increases also will be critical. By building non-tuition sources of revenue, including efforts to grow summer camps and conferences and secure external funding for programs and research, the institution will be better positioned to keep costs low. Progressive thinking on the part of the faculty and administration will result in the identification of other sources of non-tuition revenue, and innovation funds will be allocated to provide start-up dollars for new concepts.
Costs can also be contained through the prudent management of resources with a focus on ensuring quality while controlling costs. Through an effective administrative cost center review process, performance indicators dashboard, revised budget development timeline process, and multi-year funding priority plan, Mount Union will be primed to enhance its already strong history of fiscal soundness. The University will seek collaborative relationships with educational institutions and other non-profit organizations to reduce overhead and leverage our strengths.