Fewer Freshmen Only Part of Bradley Budget Issue

Published 06/04 2014 06:43PM

Updated 06/04 2014 06:45PM

PEORIA - Bradley University is attributing lower-than-expected enrollment numbers to nearly $7-million in budget cuts school officials are looking to make.

“Nationally, the number of graduating high school seniors is declining,” said Paul Schroeder, V.P. of Enrollment Management.

Schroeder said they have about 100 fewer incoming freshmen compared to the same time last year. Something his office is looking to fix.

“We're looking at what we do with students when they come to campus and take tours and attend visit days and we are looking at ways that we can attract as many students as possible next year,” he said.

Fewer students mean fewer tuition payments and tuition is a big part of the budget. Include several new projects the university has on tap, and the total is brought to $5-million. Tack that onto the $1.8-million the school already had slated in auxiliary cost reductions and it is up to $7-million in cuts.

“What we don't want to do is just have a two percent cut now, and then maybe another percent cut the next year or another percent after that,” said Provost David Glassman.

There are three committees reviewing school finances. Glassman said before putting anything on the chopping block, they'll see what can be made more efficient.

“Could be simply how we do certain programming. How we do certain activities on campus, is there a more effective way of doing it. The scheduling of our classes, are we scheduling too many classes in any one semester?”

Those reports are expected to come in over the next few months.

We asked Bradley students, who can pay more than $19,000 dollars in tuition, fees plus room and board a semester, what they think of these changes.

“I've been here three years and if my last two years can stay the same, meaning that they keep up what they've been doing, I have no problem with it. It's once I have to be altered because of what they're doing that I have an issue with it,” said Jimmie Kennedy.

Travis Kelso said, if they raise here and they have to cut some things, that's ok, but if they're compromising their quality, I don't think that's alright.”

Bradley says this round of budget cuts will not affect tuition or financial aid.

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