THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE IN TRANSITION
A common theme among the current candidates for the position of mayor of the City of Newark is the call for improved dialogue with the University of Delaware. The impression is that the University is growing rapidly and having a bigger footprint in the life of the City.
Do the facts bear this out?
Over the past ten years (2009-19) total enrollment at the University has increased 17.6%, led by an 18.6% jump in undergraduate enrollment. The primary driver of this enrollment rise appears to be financial.
State of Delaware operating budget support of the University is currently $120.7 million. The severe recession of 2007-08 put a crimp in the State’s generosity. In today’s dollars, the State gave $147 million to the University in 2006.
Simultaneously, the University’s operating budget rose a hefty 48% over the last ten years.
With the State’s share of the University’s operating revenue dropping from 18% to 12% over those years, the contribution of tuition revenue and fees rose from 34% to 43%.
While modest increases in tuition and fees at a pace above inflation contributed to its expanded contribution to the University’s operating revenue, that was not the key factor. Over the ten years the University’s undergraduate enrollment of international students has soared 496%, to 954. International students are far more likely to pay “full freight” and not receive discounts on tuition.
Although there is no exact data available from the University, the likely growth component of international undergraduate enrollees is students from China. Over the past decade the total enrollment of Chinese students in the U.S. has increased 348%.
So, the candidates for mayor of the City of Newark have a reason for concern—the University is growing rapidly and that growth will impact the City’s quality of life.
By: Dr. John E. Stapleford, Chair Caesar Rodney Institute April 3, 2019
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