Marlboro College Selected Data, December 2019
During the December 14th special meeting of the Marlboro College Board of Trustees, the Board held a public comment period to hear the concerns of alumni, Marlboro townspeople, and other constituents regarding the college’s proposed merger with Emerson College. One of the requests the Board received in this open session was to share data used in making the decision to seek a partner in order to secure the future of the college.
In response to this request, the Board is providing documentation on the College’s finances, enrollment, and accreditation status. Most of these materials are publicly available with the exception of the most recent communication from our accreditors at the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) which can also be found below. We are sharing that communication to clarify the college’s accreditation status. Other materials include links to the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS), as well as Marlboro’s form 990s and audited financial statements, all of which the Board and the Strategic Options Task Force used to arrive at tts decision.
To supplement the expertise held by individual trustees, the Board consulted many outside experts — including Marlboro alumnus and former staff member Will Wootton who addressed the Board in May 2018 — to make recommendations regarding Marlboro’s future. The College hopes that sharing this documentation will help provide some context for the difficult choices the Board has made.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
IPEDS is a series of annual surveys conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. This survey is mandatory for any institutions relying on student financial aid through Title IV funding. The IPEDS Data Center provides a wealth of comprehensive information, including data on enrollment, admissions, human resources, finances, and net tuition revenue. The Data Center also provides a tool that makes it easier to compare these variables across multiple institutions.
National Census Data
National Census data pertaining to U.S. birth rates provides information on the number of college-aged students in any given year, demonstrating sharp declines in the number of potential students in Marlboro’s demographic.
The following link to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse allows users to search for financial statements and single audits for US institutions of higher learning, including Marlboro: https://harvester.census.gov/facdissem/SearchA133.aspx.
The Form 990, produced by the Internal Revenue Service, provides the public with financial information about nonprofit organizations. The latest 990 available at this time is for the tax year 2017, which contains financial information for fiscal year 2018 (7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018). The 2018 990, which will contain financial information for the fiscal year 7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019, will be filed in May. The following link to ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer allows users to search for 990s for US not-for-profit entities, including Marlboro: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/.
We are including the most recent letter from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) that outlines our current accreditation status and challenges. As the letter states, Marlboro remains on a Notice of Concern — which is not a public notice — but provides very clear direction from our accreditors of the necessity in developing a relationship with another institution or closing. Without accreditation, Marlboro can not issue recognized degrees or provide federal financial aid.
- Advancing the Liberal Arts in the Face of Demographic Change, Association for American Colleges and Universities
- New book argues most colleges are about to face significant decline in prospective students, Inside Higher Ed
- Moody’s: Private-College Closures at 11 Per Year, Inside Higher Ed
- Vermont among states with biggest drops in college students, Vermont Business Magazine
- The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke, CNBC
- Radical Survival Strategies for Struggling Colleges, The New York Times
For Some Colleges, the Best Move Is to Merge, The New York Times