New England’s private not for profit institutions have the highest share of enrollment in the region, with 384,000 students in 2018-19. If these institutions collectively experience a 5% decline in enrollment, then this could add up to a half billion dollar loss for the sector. And, then again on the extreme end, if the private not for profit sector sees enrollment drop by 25%, this could amount to a massive $2.7 billion sector-wide loss.
A Note About Room and Board
Some institutions have cut their on-campus undergraduate dormitory capacity this year in an effort to comply with new social distancing guidelines. The figures above do not account for resulting reductions in room and board revenue, as these specific costs cannot be disaggregated from net price estimates. Our calculations assume full dormitory capacity for each enrollment scenario. As a result, our projections may underestimate revenue shortfalls.
In an informal survey currently being conducted by NEBHE, we have received varying (albeit limited, at this time) responses on this matter from institutions and systems across the region — from one that is operating their dormitories at 50% capacity, to another that is operating them at 80% capacity, to yet another that is operating them at normal capacity. Much like enrollment figures, the revenue loss from reduced residential capacity will vary from institution to institution.