Linfield perseveres despite lower funding

Amber McKenna
Editor in chief

In these tough economic times, colleges across the nation are experiencing the effects, but Linfield, when compared with others, is staying financially stable.
As a result of the recession, the college’s endowment decreased by 24 percent, but Glenn Ford, vice president of business and finance, said Linfield has faired better than comparable institutions. He said across the country similar schools have suffered, on average a 26 percent loss in their endowments.
The funds come from friends and alumni of Linfield and totaled $54
million as of December 2008.
In a recession, Ford said it is beneficial for Linfield to have a smaller endowment because the college relies less on these funds to satisfy operating costs, unlike with sister institutions.
Ford said the college has maintained its endowment because of a savvy investment committee and a quality long-term asset allocation strategy. He said the committee continuously strives to keep a diverse portfolio by investing in both domestic and international entities.
Ford said the budget committee recently approved the college’s budget for the 09-10 academic year, which included a 5.9 percent increase in tuition. This increase is on par to the amount tuition increases every year. The January Term fee will also increase 6.25 percent.
To allow for greater financial need in the coming school year, the budget hearing committee increased the school’s financial aid budget by 7.4 percent.
“This is the year the crisis has really hit,” Dan Preston, dean of enrollment, said.
Preston said enrollment between semesters has remained consistent, but that most private colleges are anxious to know where their numbers are projected to be this fall.
“Students are flocking to low budget colleges,” he said of students starting college this year. “During recessions, when jobs get tight, more and more people go back for training.”
Preston said the college expects returning students to apply for more financial aid as loss of income and unemployment leave less money available for college. The Office of Financial Aid will help students with increased financial need on a case-by-case basis, he said.
Students will see a welcomed cost cut in the disintegration of the $50 January Term holding fee. Ford said this is a result of recommendations by Associated Students of Linfield College President Chris Schuldt, who carried student opinion to the ears of the Trustees.
“It shows that students really can make a difference,” Ford said. “[Schuldt] represented the student body very well.”
Ford said it is difficult to predict at what point the economy will improve, but Preston said the new stimulus package will provide some assistance to low-income students and changes in tax credits that may also aid students.

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