Most Buffalo-area private colleges were operating in the red even before Covid-19 hit | Education

Hilbert has become a third smaller over the five years, from 571 employees in 2015 to 379 employees in 2020, followed by D’Youville University, which has reduced its workforce by 15% to 1,434 employees and Canisius, where the number of employees reported on tax returns fell 13% to 1,905. (The employment numbers on IRS Forms 990 are for anyone on a college payroll, including students employees.)

Nine of 11 private colleges and universities in Western New York also fared worse in 2019, compared to a decade earlier, in the federal government’s Composite Fiscal Responsibility Score, a measure of health. overall relative financial institutions.

The grim financial picture for private colleges isn’t unique to Western New York, but it underscored growing concern that too many institutions, both in the region and across the country, are pursuing too few students. .

“A lot of these little private colleges are just walking on water, and it’s hard to even get there,” said economist Robert Kelchen, professor of higher education and head of the Department of Educational Leadership and political studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. . “Apart from the top 100 private colleges and about 100 public colleges and universities, most higher education institutions are currently experiencing financial difficulties.”

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