Published by Inside Higher Ed
Still, Bard’s troubles do fit into a broader narrative about head winds many institutions are facing. Colleges and universities of different sizes are running into demographic, cost, technological and economic challenges, said David Strauss, a principal at Art & Science Group, a Baltimore-based consulting strategy firm.
“It’s a real competition, and there are winners and losers,” he said. “Have they carved out a substantive appeal that is compelling enough to draw kids to come and to pay enough of the freight to support the place? So far, the answer you’re giving is ‘Not yet.’ And that’s the answer for a lot of colleges and universities around the country these days.”
Bard’s discount rate in the 2016 fiscal year was in line with the national average -- 48 percent, according to Moody’s. Net tuition revenue per student was $26,000.
So the open question remains whether Bard can find a way to keep its balance sheet in good enough shape to convince bankers and donors to support its ideals.
“They may very well march to the beat of a different drummer,” said Rick Hesel, another principal at Art & Science. “But if you run out of cash, the drummer stops beating.”