College hopes tuition drop will draw more students

By Alex Rose |

Published 11/30 2015 10:46PM

Updated 11/30 2015 10:46PM

Interim President of Burlington College, Carol A. Moore, has her hands full, after taking over nearly a year ago.

The college was in $11 million of debt from buying out it's current space from Burlington's Catholic Diocese. The debt lead to a probationary status put on by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

"The commission was concerned because of the debt that we didn't have the resources to deliver high quality programs," Moore said.

But now the college is back on track financially. It sold a majority of the land to developer Eric Farrell, cutting the debt to $4 million, and a deal should be complete by the end of the month to sell an adjacent former orphanage and more land, cutting the school's total debt to a manageable $2 million.

However, there is one major issue.

"We did experience a dip in enrollment this year," Moore said.

From a little less than 200 students enrolled last year, Burlington College now has 147 students enrolled.

"We can thrive with lowering the tuition and increasing our enrollment modestly," Moore said.

Burlington College will reset tuition next year to $21,500. It's a nearly nine percent cut from tuition last year.

"We have an obligation to make college affordable for as many students as we can," Moore said.

Students including 3rd year student Austin Dickerson, who studies graphic design.

"Nice to be able to customize my learning experience," Dickerson said.

He says tuition is very high and some of his friends work one or two jobs while trying to get an education.

"Just going to school in itself it's pretty hard to dedicate time to and to balance all that as well it seems pretty difficult," Dickerson said.

Moore says the drop in tuition will not lead to cuts in programming.

"It's all about value and the quality of education that students get," Moore said.

Moore says the average debt load for a student at Burlington College is about $25 thousand, but hopes moves like these will help lower that number to $20 thousand.

Burlington College will get a chance to get off probation with the NEASC in Spring.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

comments powered by Disqus