University of Missouri leaders say donations are coming in at a good pace, but a projected drop in enrollment could cost the University $20-million.
Interim University of Missouri Chancellor Hank Foley told lawmakers student applications are down significantly.
“We are projecting that based on just demographics within Missouri we might have been down by about 300 students, or we’re thinking that we might be down as many as 900 students in fall,” said Foley. “That is a big drop for us. That would account for maybe a $20-million shortfall in our budget at MU.”
Foley said some would-be students are expressing concerns to counselors.
“I’ve certainly heard some of that. Some of it is just turmoil and fear of turmoil. Wanting to be sure they’re going to a place that’s stable,” said Foley.
A leveling off of, or decline in, enrollment isn’t limited to the Columbia campus. Interim President Mike Middleton said the University of Missouri-Kansas City is projecting flat enrollment compared to this year. Missouri S&T has had record enrollment for several years but there is a slight decline in international students from oil-producing countries, and a revenue decline of about $1.5-million is projected. UMSL is projecting a decline of about 2-percent, resulting in a loss of about $2-million in revenue. Middleton believes UMSL believes the decline is connected to a decline in enrollment and graduations from community colleges in the area.
Foley said he’s less concerned about donations. He said the target for this campaign is $1.3-billion and the total is “rapidly approaching” $700-million.