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Enrollment Flat, Tuition Revenue Up

September 9, 2016

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Rankin

298 first time freshman became enrolled at Monmouth College in the fall of 2016, surpassing last year’s enrollment of 273. President Wyatt is pleased with the numbers this year.

“Our target was 310 for first time freshman, and we were at 298.”

Wyatt said that this year’s enrollment was affected by what was happening with the Illinois MAP grant.

“A lot of Illinois high school students either weren’t going to college, or went out of state. Our students are going to be owed somewhere between 2.1 and 2.2 million dollars total. We’ve made a commitment that if the state does not fulfill its’ obligation and not fund MAP for 2016-2017, we’re not going to hold our students responsible for it. It’s the first priority to help our students go to school.”

Wyatt said that net tuition revenue is better than last year and, “. . . we are right on target based off the model. More specifically, this year we are $200 – $300 over what was projected per new student.”

Wyatt is looking to increase out of state students, building a stronger base outside of Illinois. This year there are better numbers for transfer students than what was projected.

“Our target was 40 for transfer students and we had 39. One of the really pleasing things was the significant jump in the number of students from out-of-state. By adding more students from more areas of the country, we’ve made big strides in the number of students from out of state this year, so that’s good. We’re heading in the right direction.”

Over the course of the summer, many plans to renovate various parts of the school were made, including a complete renovation of Scotland Yard. The renovations ran a few days into the fall semester, but it is now fully operational.

“It’s an opportunity to work with Aramark. Aramark paid for all of the renovations. We wanted to upgrade the facilities down there, and offer some new menu items,” said Wyatt.

There have also been plans to renovate the residence halls on 9th street, which include Liedman, Cleland, Winbigler Grier and McMichael Halls.

“We’re going to be doing some concentrated fundraising efforts. There’s been discussion of it since I got here. We’ve gotten farther down the road in terms of planning and fundraising to build the endowment and part of that would be putting resources in place to help with capital projects. The fraternity complex will be part of the mix, but the 9th street dorms house more students, so that will be a bigger priority.”
There also plans to relocate the student center to the current location of the Haldeman-Thiessen Science Center, which was replaced by the Center for Science & Business in 2013. This student center would replace the Stockdale Center.

“We had one of the working groups of the planning process look at the need for a new campus center. I think we’ve outgrown the Stockdale Center. It’s a great facility. It’s very important but as far as significant capital projects go, 9th street is the first priority,” said President Wyatt. “The planning was to put a campus center where HT is. We’re a little time away from that, as it will require fundraising as well. But when the college builds a new campus center, that’s likely where it’s going to go. That’s the logical place.”

As for right now, the college plans to keep HT as is, and faculty members will use the ground floor for something President Wyatt calls a “maker’s space.” “It’s almost like sort of an innovation lab.”

A parking lot across the street from Bowers Hall is also in the works. Aware of the parking issues, President Wyatt wants to ensure that students have the opportunity to park closer to the school.

“It’s coming. Monmouth is one of the few colleges I’ve been to where parking is an issue. Students complain about tight parking, and parking is tight. I don’t like the idea of tearing houses down, but we had the opportunity to buy them and work is about to proceed on constructing that lot. What’s going to have to happen between the city and the college is to figure out how to handle water drainage.”

All of this was made possible with the help of Dave Bowers. Currently, there is no specific deadline for the completion of the parking lot.

The Wyatt Administration is also in the process of modernizing the first floor of Wallace Hall.

“This conversation started around two years ago. The first floor of Wallace is essentially our front door. We wanted to take that foyer of Wallace Hall and make into more of an attractive and inviting space. Ideas had developed with Lobie and that working group of the planning process with the art program to turn it into a gallery space and to be able to show off the talent of our faculty, staff, students and alumni. It’ll be more engaging as a prospective student to see the art of our people.”

The president’s portraits will be moved to the Morgan room of Poling Hall which was also remodeled. Jeff Rankin will write a brief biography of every president to be displayed under each portrait.

In the latest “Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings,” Monmouth College moved 82 spots to ranked No. 77 in the magazine’s “National Universities – Liberal Arts” category. The magazine ranked 239 liberal arts colleges and universities in the latest issue.

“It is encouraging to hear a message of quality about the experience here which is what is attracting people to the college for those reasons,” said Wyatt. “We are working every day to build the college for the long run.”

Cristian Corbett
Co-Editor In Chief

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