College Financial Solvency Alert

Karin McElwain-WestAlerts, News

The Scholarship Foundation again urges caution among students regarding the financial solvency of schools seeking to enroll them. If last year was a time of great concern, this year provides focus on a number of schools that are struggling financially and may not remain open long enough to serve the students enrolling. The Scholarship Foundation has updated financial solvency scores for institutions from Forbes’ 2021 College Financial Health Grades and is advising students accordingly.

STOP:   Student Advisors will encourage any incoming first-year college student, with plans to attend a college with a financial solvency score of less than 1.0, to change their plans. The Scholarship Foundation will not make awards to new students to attend these institutions; Advisors will work with students to evaluate existing alternative options and implement a back-up plan. First-year students attending these schools in the region will be alerted:

  • McKendree University
  • Quincy University

SLOW DOWN:   In addition, the Foundation is continuing to monitor institutions where there remains, or is now, financial risk to students. Several colleges score above 1.0, but are less than 1.5 and many are declining, which indicates caution. As a result, students planning to attend or return to these institutions will receive planning support from a Student Advisor. Advisors will connect with each student individually to evaluate their unique circumstances and remaining time to graduation; each student will have the opportunity to provide input about their experience, ask questions, and share their own observations and concerns. Students who have more than one year before graduation will work with an Advisor to initiate a transfer plan, if they desire, and/or create a contingency plan should their institution close. The Foundation will review financial solvency data early in 2022 and communicate with students about ongoing, or developing concerns. Second- and third-year students attending these schools in the region will be alerted:

  • Benedictine College
  • Central Baptist College
  • Coe College
  • Culver-Stockton College
  • Fontbonne University
  • Kentucky Wesleyan University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Saint Xavier University

PROCEED WITH CAUTION:   Some students are attending institutions for whom there is a financial concern who are within only a few semesters of graduation. The Foundation will not necessarily encourage these students to transfer, as transfer could mean a loss of credits, which would not benefit the student. In the event that students are returning for a final year at a school where a concern exists, they will work with a Student Advisor to ensure their educational plans are firm and confirm they are on track to graduate in the remaining time indicated.

There is still great risk for students in the current higher education climate, and it is as important as ever to provide students with transparency. All those working with students have a responsibility to provide timely, unbiased information that supports an informed decision by students, for themselves. Fourth-year students attending these schools listed above will be advised accordingly.

For more information, see:

Do the Math and Do It Over Again

BUYER BEWARE: Urgent Student Advisory on Colleges’ Fragile Finances