College enrollment in 2012 declined for the first time in six years, according to the US Census. This caught the attention of Moody’s Investors Services which published a special report ” Enrollment Declines are Credit Negative for Higher Education” on September 9, 2013.The Reuters story noting this states: “Enrollment challenges will persist for several years, and those institutions likely to suffer the biggest squeeze have lower credit ratings, are especially dependent on tuition for revenue, or lack a strong brand name or market position, Moody’s added.”
It’s the last part of that statement that should get the attention of college and university administrators. Building an institutional brand is not a luxury item if the goal is keeping enrollment stable.
Last fall I worked with one of the institutions mentioned in the Reuters story: Central College. They are addressing the concerns raised by the Moody’s report and have made great strides with their ability to attract greater interest in their institution. Go Dutch!