Alumni Council member David Holden shared the following brief summary of the weekend with a few of his Wake Forest friends. We wanted to share it with all of you!
I recently attended the Wake Forest Alumni Council meeting and thought you may be interested in a brief summary of what’s going on at Wake. For this meeting, there was much discussion regarding the national issue of tuition cost:
1. Wake Forest recently announced the hiring of new Provost Roger Kersh, a Wake Forest Alumnus. Mr. Kersh currently serves as the associate dean of academic affairs and professor of public policy at NYU’s Graduate School of Public Service and will begin July 1st at Wake. There have been floods of emails and unsolicited phone calls received on what a great decision it was for Wake to hire him.
2. There are a number of Wake Forest Alumni Town Hall Meetings scheduled in NC targeting the Eastern part of the State. If you live in that area be on the lookout for those meetings in the near future.
3. The construction of 2 new dorms will begin next month which will hold 240 beds each. They will be located on the North side of campus behind the Scales parking lot. Completion of the suite-style dorms is scheduled for completion in August 2013.
4. The grand opening of the new Uptown Charlotte campus was held January 26th. Today there are two Charlotte-based MBA programs with more than 200 students. The Wake Forest MBA for working professionals is the top-ranked program of its kind in NC. Drop by the location at 200 N. College St in downtown Charlotte and visit if you are a Charlotte resident or if you are traveling there on business.
5. Cost containment of tuition is a national issue as well as a Wake Forest issue. Wake is working hard to cut costs by working with the Wake Forest Medical Center to make operations more cost-efficient.
6. Why is Wake so expensive and why has tuition risen so much? (A.) Private School 11-1 teacher-student ratio (B.) Small is expensive-4800 is our targeted cap on enrollment. Most of our competitors are 6,000-8,000 undergrads. (C.) Our national status has risen and faculty salaries were not at all in line with our competitors over the last 10 years and that had to be adjusted. (D.) Our endowment is very small compared to our competitors. A larger percentage of cost comes from our tuition.
7. Why is our endowment so small compared to our competitors? (A.) Lack of huge corporate donors. Traditional graduates have been preachers, teachers, doctors and lawyers, not hedge fund managers and corporate officers (B.) We were a Baptist College until 1986-this affected fundraising. Board of Trustee members (traditionally the largest donors) were limited to Baptists for our first 150 years. (C.) The move of the campus to Winston-Salem was financially exhausting to the endowment. We were behind for a couple of decades. The booming 80’s and 90’s were great, but we started with a smaller number thus we now have a smaller number. (D.) We used to compete with the Richmonds and Furmans of the world, and now the Stanfords, Vanderbilts, Dukes, and Ivy Leagues are our competition.
8. What is Wake Forest doing to help a $75,000-$150,000 income family send their student to school? Currently, the type of student that comes to Wake is not proportional to those who are admitted. In short, the main reason is cost. The average financial aid package is only $20,000-$25,000. The new Wake Forest Scholars program is designed to help $75,000-$150,000 households send students here. This fund-raising initiative will provide an additional $5,000-$10,000 per student. Recent data indicates this will push the accepted-attending ratio from 37% to 53% with the extra financial aid.
Please let me know if you have any questions.