Miami is expecting a $5 million decrease in tuition revenue for the 2019-2020 school year.
A shrinking number of students enrolled in the American Culture and English (ACE) program accounts for $2 million of the $5 million decrease in revenue for the upcoming school year.
According to the program’s website, ACE is designed “for international students whose English language test scores fall just below the level for admission to Miami” but otherwise “meet the requirements for admission.”
ACE Director Carol Olauson said that these students are conditionally admitted to Miami and must meet program expectations to remain in the ACE program.
The number of Chinese student applications has been declining in recent years due to the political relationship between China and the United States, Miami’s ranking compared to other universities and the capacity and quality of Chinese universities, Aaron Bixler, associate director for international recruitment, told The Student in February 2019.
Due to these trends, Olauson did foresee a decrease of students participating in the ACE program. However, she did not expect the decline to be as dramatic.
“This is the largest drop we’ve seen in the past few years,” she said.
Last year, the ACE program had 193 students. This fall, there will be 107 students enrolled in the program.
Moving forward, the ACE program will be operating with fewer staff members to accommodate the smaller class sizes. ACE lost four staff members who were previously visiting professors and relocated. Their positions were not re-filled, but no professors were laid-off.
Despite the decrease in ACE students, Olausen said the program will be no less successful.
“Our programming is contingent on the program fee of $1,000 paid by students who are in the ACE program,” Olausen said.
The drop in participating students will not affect the amount of resources offered to ACE students because program funding is proportional to the class size.
For the fall, total revenue from all international students is predicted to be $3.7 million, as opposed to the $7.9 million revenue in fall 2015.
Miami’s Vice President of Finance and Business Services David Creamer, said that Miami expected this decrease in revenue and had implemented response policies.
“We had implemented some budget changes back in February through the approval of the board of trustees that asked for departments to make reductions in their budget for this year and the next five years,” he said.
Despite a reduction in revenue, Creamer said that the class size for fall 2019 is actually larger than the previous years. Miami is increasing the amount of scholarships they provide to students each year. This year, Miami is spending $16 million more on student scholarships than the previous year causing the net tuition to drop this year, Creamer said.
Overall, there will be a general reduction in budgetary spending for some departments. Creamer says that Miami expects to “spend more” to support the larger class size.
“It’s a mix of some things, increases in costs but reductions in some areas to balance out the budget,” Creamer said.
Some changes will be seen with an increase in tuition and fees. Out-of-state tuition for the 2015-2016 school year sat just above $30,000. For the incoming class, out-of-state tuition will be $32,555. Miami’s tuition promise guarantees that the cost of tuition for students will not increase during a students time at Miami.
Briah Lumpkins assisted with the reporting of this story.