Feedback, Questions and Links to Sources

Thank you to all who have provided feedback via ChathamFeedback@chatham.edu, in letters and through calls to the Alumni Affairs office. All feedback is being categorized, recorded and will be shared with the Board of Trustees for their review. We have also received a number of questions and ideas as well. These are being organized and will be posted to the blog over the next two weeks.

In the meantime, we have received a few questions that we wanted to post now related to the sources of some of the external statistics shared in our communications to-date. They include:

What is the source of the statistic that states only 2% of high school girls say they would consider a women’s college? 

The 2% figure has been referenced in USA Today and other outlets in reference to studies by previous institutions who have gone co-ed.

At the same time, data is available via the College Board on over 7 million high school students registered with the College Board. The College Board helps more than 7 million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program.

Based on College Board data, there 3.9 million female students (53% of all students) in their system in the high school graduating classes of 2013 – 2017. Females who checked that “they are looking for an all women institution” across those graduation years is 1.7% or 1.9% for just juniors and seniors (graduating in 2014).

What is the source of the statistic that states Pennsylvania is the state with the highest number of women’s or “women centric” colleges in the country?

This is from data available via the Women’s College Coalition website listing of members by location.

What is the source of the statistic that states Pennsylvania has seen the number of college bound students peak in 2009 and is projected to have a 9% decline in college bound students over the next three years? 

This data is available via the website of the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education. On this site, you can download data and charts of the nation’s, regions, or specific state’s high school graduates data from Knocking at the College Door. According to this site, Pennsylvania peaked at 150,000 graduates in 2009-2010, has declined to 139,323 in 2013-2014, is expected to stay at ~ 137,000 for the coming years and is not forecasted to peak again until 2024/2025 (at 143,750 total students). Data on the national decline is also available on this site.

Please note correction from original release and earlier post: It is actually a 9% decline in high school graduates in Pennsylvania since the peak of 2009-2010 to 2014-2015 and a decline of less than 1% between 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. 

What is the source of the statement from Standard & Poor’s 2014 rating for the U.S. not-for-profit higher education sector? 

This is from the report, “Many Factors Burden The U.S. Higher Education Sector In 2014.”  The report overview states:

  • The sector faces growing challenges on several fronts that will require institutional change for many.
  • Typically slow to change, many colleges and universities will experience decreased credit quality in 2014.
  • We expect universities with diverse operations and strong financial resources to fare better than the overall sector.
  • The impact of affordability concerns on financial operations is greater for small private universities.

The statement on the difficulty for single-sex institutions can be found on page 7 of the report:

Specialty institutions
Typically defined by their niche programs that appeal to a much smaller subset or demographic, specialty institutions are incredibly varied in scope and performance. However, while schools of pharmacy or those related to health professions face increasing demand and will likely continue to perform quite well, others are facing sharply decreasing demand and faltering financial profiles. We expect the next few years to be particularly difficult for law schools, single-sex institutions, and small regional religious institutions.

How can one access publicly available financial records for the university?

To facilitate this request, audited financial statements and IRS 990 forms for the University have been posted on this page: www.chatham.edu/about/financials.cfm