A By-the-Numbers Look at a College’s Public Plea for Help

Last month, the president of Bloomfield College made an unusual choice — to reveal publicly that the future of the small private liberal-arts college was at risk.

Marcheta P. Evans posted a letter on the college’s website about the New Jersey institution’s financial challenges, with the goal of garnering “interest from new potential strategic partners and philanthropic benefactors who are passionate about advancing opportunities for the underserved population we predominantly serve,” according to a news release from the college that accompanied the letter.

Bloomfield’s multiyear enrollment decline and budgetary challenges — both made worse by the pandemic — aren’t unique among small, tuition-dependent private colleges. Since the pandemic began, both factors played a role in the closure or merger of similar institutions, such as MacMurray College and Mills College. And several data points underscore the nature of the threat to Bloomfield’s viability.

Bloomfield has said it has enough money to complete the current academic year. By early next year, the college expects to be able to give faculty, staff, and students an update on the college’s fortunes.

Here’s a look at who Bloomfield serves and how the college got to the precipice:

The share of Bloomfield College’s $39 million in total revenue that came from net tuition and fees in the 2020 fiscal year.

The value of Bloomfield College’s endowment at the end of the 2020 fiscal year, after a two-year slide of 6.1 percent.

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