Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Private College Revenues and the US College Meltdown


According to National Center for Education Statistics charts, public higher education institutions overall experienced increased revenues in recent years, but private colleges saw a $46 Billion loss in revenues from 2013 to 2015.

Bear in mind that the numbers are not up-to-date, so this pattern may have improved, stabilized, or worsened since 2016. But with student enrollment continuing to decrease, declining private college revenue numbers may be a harbinger of a larger meltdown.

In 2016, EY suggested that as many as 805 colleges faced significant challenges due to low enrollment numbers and unsustainable finances.

Some of private college revenue losses may due to a tuition discounting. In any case, drops in institutional revenues for a significant period require cost cutting, which frequently means cuts in teachers, staff, and financial aid. Conditions at individual private colleges may be vastly different, from thriving and growing to downsizing and closing.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

College Enrollments Continue Decline in Several States


[Updated 10-20-2018]

Although the National Student Clearinghouse numbers won't be out until December, a cursory look at news articles over the last month suggests that US higher education enrollment will be down again in 2018-19.

This is not surprising news, given that only a minority of colleges surveyed by Inside Higher Education/Gallup had met their enrollment goals by June.

Thousands of learning sites and campuses have closed over the last seven years, and the trend looks like it will continue. You can track the school closings here.

For-profit colleges continue to downsize, although they aren't reporting numbers. However, many University of Phoenix and Virginia College campuses will be closing. Harrison College campuses closed abruptly leaving thousands of students shunted to other questionable subprime schools, like National American University.
University of Phoenix campuses will be closing in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Columbia SC, Detroit, El Paso, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, and several locations in California and Florida.
Community colleges are also expected to lose students for the foreseeable future.
In Illinois, freshman enrollment was down 20% at Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. 

In New Mexico, enrollment is down 7% at University of New Mexico and 5% at Santa Fe Community College. New Mexico State's enrollment dropped by 1% but the school is facing a $3.3 million shortfall. 

In Montana, enrollment at the University of Montana declined 7.6%.

In Hawaii, enrollment as University of Hawaii campuses saw drops at University of Hawaii-Hilo (3.8%), Hawaii Community College (6.6%) and UH-Maui (6.4%).

In Pennsylvania, enrollment was down for the eight consecutive year, a drop of 4%Indiana University of Pennsylvania experienced a 9% enrollment drop this semester. Cheney University's numbers were down 37%.

In New Jersey, Cumberland County College is merging with Rowan College at Glouchester County after years of enrollment declines.

In Michigan, enrollment is down 1.5% at Western Michigan and Grand Valley State.

In Mississippi, enrollment at universities and community colleges decreased by 1%. The greatest decline was at Jackson State, which saw a 10% decline.

In Missouri, enrollment is down at Crowder College (8%), Missouri Southern State University (2.7%) and Pittsburg State University (4%). University of Missouri increased enrollment significantly after rebranding itself.

In Nebraska, enrollment increased at Creighton, but decreased at all University of Nebraska campuses.

In Arkansas, enrollment is down 1.3%. University of Arkansas at Little Rock had an enrollment drop of about 10%.

In Wisconsin, UW system-wide enrollment was down 2,598 students or 1.5%.

In Kansas, University of Kansas, Kansas State and Pittsburg State all recorded declining enrollment.

Community college numbers in Oregon continue to drop, particularly at Lane Community College, where enrollment is down 11%.

In West Virginia, WVU-Parkersburg reported a 3% drop.

In Ohio, University of Akron's enrollment fell 7%. Enrollment dropped about 3% at Kent State, also with a decline in foreign students.

In North Dakota, the University of North Dakota experienced a 4% loss in enrollment. North Dakota State also had a 4% loss, resulting in an estimated $5M less in revenues.

In Iowa, enrollments dropped at Northern Iowa (5.8%), Iowa (1.6%), and Iowa State (2.8%. Hawkeye Community College had a 6% loss.

In Arizona, enrollments at Maricopa Community Colleges have declined after it was ruled that Dreamers were not eligible for in-state tuition. 

Nationwide, enrollment may also be influenced by recent declines in the number of foreign students.
There are some notable rises in enrollment. North Carolina is seeing increases after making tuition affordable with its NC Promise program. Texas and Utah are also likely to see continued gains in college numbers as more people move to their states.

Related articles:
College Meltdown: State By State Changes
Subprime College Crash Continues Under the Radar
Private College Revenues and the US College Meltdown
US Department of Education Fails to Recognize College Meltdown
College Meltdown: NY, IL, MI, PA, VA hardest hit
Community Colleges at the Heart of College Meltdown
Charting the College Meltdown

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Visa Mill Promoters Drop $760K on Key Republicans and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, individual members of Thompson Education Center have spent at least $710,000 for the 2017-2018 election cycle, all on Republican efforts. 

[Image below from Open Secrets.]

Backers of Thompson Education Center, Lianbo Wang and Sherry Li, have already donated at least $600,00 to the Trump Victory fund. They also donated $55,000 to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014. 

Thompson Education Center (TEC) is a project, backed by Chinese-American investors, to create a private college in Sullivan County, New York. The school would house up to 2500 students, presumably Chinese nationals seeking US visas.
Information about the school is sketchy. Press releases from 2016 and 2017 stated that TEC would build a nursing school, a culinary center, and a conservatory for film and tv.
[Image from NTD, suggesting that the Thompson Education Center could become a high-end visa mill for Chinese nationals.]

In 2013, the original $6 billion China City project was supposed to include a Chinese theme park, two hotels, a Chinese cultural museum, and a casino. But public opposition has resulted in a more modest plan that remains mostly on the drawing board.

Is the China City/Thompson Education Center project a threat to US security or a business scam? Possibly both.

Buying Political Influence

[FEC documents show that Sherry Li and Lianbo Wang have made major contributions to Donald Trump, the Republican National Committee, and key Republicans.]

[Image below shows political contributions that Sherry Li has made to state and local politicians, including Andrew Cuomo, as well as politicians in Sullivan County, where the China City/Thompson Education Center is planned.]

[Image below from Yahoo Finance shows that Sherry Li spent time in DC in 2017 to influence key Republicans, including Steve Stivers, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee.]

Trying to Follow the Money

Not much is known about Li or Wang, but a brief article revealing their political donations and activities appeared in the Daily Best last year. Apparently, their Oyster Bay Long Island residence has also been the headquarters for the United Nations Mao Zedong Foundation and several other businesses.

[Image below from Opencorpdata.com downloaded 10-2-2018 shows several business at the Li and Wang residence.]

[Image below: The New York State Department business entity database lists 15 companies under China City of America.]

Securities and Exchange Commission documents show transfer of ownership from Chinese corporations to the US and other business dealings, but the origins of Sherry Li's wealth are cloudy.

[Image below from Defeat China City of America on Facebook indicates relationships between Sherry Li and Chinese businesses.]

Press releases by the Thompson Education Center are located here.
[Image below: The Thompson Education Center twitter account has not shown any entries since June 2018.]

[Image below from Blacktiemagazine.com shows Sherry Li and her assistant at a black tie event in 2018. It appears that Thompson Education Center has few if any other employees.]
Preliminary research results in many more questions: about the citizenship status of Lianbo "Mike" Wang, capital flow from China through the 15 China City businesses and other enterprises, the tax status and detailed plans of the Thompson Education Center, and their possible ties to the Chinese Communist Party.