Declining Enrollments Hurt the Bottom Line of Arkansas Baptist College

Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock has experienced a significant drop in enrollments in recent years and this has placed the private historically Black educational institution in a difficult financial situation. According to state figures, there were 1,193 students enrolled at the college in 2011 but only 575 students enrolled last fall.

In 2013, the federal government placed Arkansas Baptist College on heightened cash flow monitoring. This means that the federal government will only reimburse the college for proper expenses and money will not be awarded upfront before disbursements have been made. Last week, the college was in danger of missing its payroll because anticipated funds from the federal government were delayed.

Kenneth Harris, chair of the board of trustees of the college, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “we don’t have the reserves and all of that that many institutions have and carry over. We just don’t have that. So, consequently, if we run into a problem, we just don’t have anything to fall back on, that we can pull from, in order to avoid a situation like this. We’re hoping to get there, but at this point, we’re not there.”

In 2016, the Higher Learning Commission, affirmed the college’s accreditation but the accrediting agency is continuing to monitor the college’s performance on the quality of its educational programs, institutional effectiveness, and attention to student success.

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  1. It would be interesting to see what the senior administrators earn in proportion to faculty and staff. Usually in higher ed when morale is low and enrollment drops drastically, the meat of the matter is in following the money i.e. who is getting “paid” and who is not. While intrinsic benefits are great, when you go home and cant feed your family, or need a second job to make ends meet and your bosses are buying new cars every year you tend to be not so enthusiastic about your job. And as we all know, enrollment management is a campus wide effort.

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