FAQs on the Economy and Emmanuel
January 08, 2009
During these uncertain times, we realize the impact that the economy is having on Emmanuel College students and their families. Our Office of Student Financial Services has been proactively communicating with students and families about the many options that are available for paying for an Emmanuel education, including through a recent newsletter. Additionally, on this page you will find answers to some of the questions you may have about the effect of this economic downturn on the College and on students and families.
1. Has Emmanuel’s endowment been affected by the downturn in the economy and what is the impact on tuition?
While we have seen losses in our endowment this year, as other colleges have, we experienced a gain last year which some other colleges and universities did not. Fortunately, we have not historically used these funds to meet operating needs; therefore losses in the endowment will not impact programs and services.
A decision on tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year will be made in February by the College’s Board of Trustees, taking into account current economic conditions and many other factors. We will be sensitive to the needs of our students and their families when setting tuition for the upcoming academic year. The College remains committed to both keeping Emmanuel College affordable and offering the highest-quality education and level of service to students.
2. How is the College addressing other economic concerns?
We are primarily concerned with how this economy will affect our students and their families. Many of our students and their parents have been directly affected by this economy through declines in home values, losses in retirement accounts and even job losses. Despite these challenges, we do not believe this to be the time for students to forgo a quality education. We understand the challenges that students and families are facing and we will make every effort to keep Emmanuel College affordable. If you have concerns about paying for your Emmanuel education, we encourage students and families to contact the Office of Student Financial Services.
As we prepare the College’s 2009-2010 budget, we continue to look at ways to operate more efficiently. Emmanuel has made prudent financial decisions which have reduced exposure to an uncertain market, and our administration and financial advisors are monitoring the changing conditions regularly. While we will be very careful in terms of spending, we will also not sacrifice the quality and value of the Emmanuel educational and student life experience.
Emmanuel College is operating from a position of strength. We have a very strong mission, which is the foundation for a clear strategic plan. Fortunately, we have also made sound decisions in terms of debt and investments. In August of 2007, the College made the decision to refinance its debt to an attractive fixed rate from a previous variable interest rate. This fall, the College also transferred available funds to U.S. government-backed securities, which minimizes our exposure to the volatile market. The College was also not part of the CommonFund.
3. Will the quality of an Emmanuel education be affected?
Even in a challenging economy, Emmanuel’s top priority is providing an excellent liberal arts and sciences education that is student-focused and values-based. We have not and will not sacrifice our commitment to offering a rigorous education in the Catholic tradition which fosters the intellectual development of the heart and mind and prepares our graduates for their life’s work.
Although Emmanuel is not affected by state budget cuts we will seek ways to be most efficient in what we do and we will not make changes that negatively affect the quality of the Emmanuel education. It is more important than ever for students to receive a quality education and be prepared for a competitive workforce. Emmanuel College is uniquely positioned to offer a rigorous education complemented by all the opportunities being in the heart of the city of Boston affords.
4. Will construction projects move forward?
Yes. The construction of the Academic Science Center, which is scheduled to open for the fall 2009 semester continues. The renovation of the top floor of the Administration Building will also be completed resulting in a new Art Department. Other projects are under careful consideration as we believe it is best to redirect available funds to support our students and their families during this challenging time.
5. Will staffing be affected?
At this time Emmanuel is not implementing a hiring freeze and will not take other actions we feel will jeopardize the quality of the education and services students’ receive. We will, though, strategically review all position vacancies and attempt to achieve cost savings whenever possible.
6. Will jobs on campus still be available for students?
Yes, there will be no reduction in the number of on-campus jobs for students. In fact, we are seeking ways to provide more on-campus jobs, especially to first and second year students who may prefer to not work off-campus. Exciting internships are available to students at Emmanuel in the city of Boston, offering experiences that are critical to career preparation.
For more information, please read the the letter sent by Sister Janet Eisner, SND, President of Emmanuel College, to Emmanuel students and families.