Enrollment shortfall causes budget cuts
Student headcount for spring semester falls 120 short, forcing personnel to take a pay cut. | Stephen Frederick/THE CHIMES
Enrollment for the spring 2017 semester fell 120 students shorts. Now the business and financial affairs department must readjust the budget to cut back on expenses and personnel's salaries.
Biola administration expected 3,832 students to enroll in the spring 2017 semester but instead received 3,712 students, in comparison to 3,850 students in spring 2016. This negatively affects the fiscal income that Biola receives from tuition, which means lowered salaries, health benefits and no raises for personnel.
Calculations for enrollment numbers each semester are based off of the anticipated graduates the previous semester, transfer students and the number of freshmen proposed to enroll. It seems possible the miscalculation of the volume of graduates is due to students’ last minute unit transfers, according to Mike Pierce, vice president of business and financial affairs.
“In December of ‘16, we had a larger graduating class than we had anticipated,” Pierce said. “That means that we have fewer students going into spring than we anticipated coming into spring… But in May and in December that method of calculating the number of graduating seniors didn’t work. We had larger graduating classes in both years than we had anticipated.”
A number of cutbacks
Business and financial affairs has cut back on salaries and expenses by not implementing personnel’s typical annual raise, cutting back on employee health benefits as well as additional administrative positions.
“So if we are 2 million dollars short on the revenue side then we have to figure out how to trim expenses,” Pierce said. “We typically get merit increases, raises, in January. So we didn’t get a raise this year because we knew that we were struggling a little bit with enrollment… If we have an open position, if somebody resigns, maybe you don’t hire the replacement right away."