While college professors across the country keep pushing for mass unemployment for the nation to battle the Wuhan virus, their college accountants are scrambling to deal with the effects of mass unemployment and tax revenue depletion.
Minnesota State system officials mapped out sobering scenarios during a board of trustees meeting Wednesday detailing financial hits that could come with possible fall enrollment drops. General fund and revenue losses for the Minnesota State system could total $74 million if enrollment were to drop 5% in the fall. The system could lose $157 million if enrollment drops 10% and $279 million if it drops 20%.
“Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, the system faced difficult financial conditions. … This particular pandemic has exacerbated that particular problem,” said trustee Roger Moe, vice chairman of the board. “We are entering a time where we’re going to have to make very tough decisions.”
As of Monday, fall semester enrollment for Minnesota State colleges and universities was down more than 20%, officials said. Summer enrollment was down about 13%. But those gaps have narrowed in recent weeks.
Minnesota State joins public colleges across the country that are bracing for bruising budget hits because of the pandemic. The University of Minnesota System is projecting similar losses of $75 million in the best-case scenario — if the pandemic subsides in the spring — to $315 million if the virus continues into the fall semester.
Source: Star Tribune