The university knew that enrollment would decline due to demographic shifts and planned accordingly. However, a variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns related to safety around campus, led to fewer students committing to enroll than anticipated. The university had planned for a decrease of approximately 1,400 students this fall but the actual decrease is projected to be approximately 2,800 students. For this coming fiscal year, we are projecting a tuition shortfall of $21 million due to the increased decline in students across all levels and the change in the mix of undergraduate students (residency and school of major).
Since the fall of 2017, total enrollment has declined 6,634 students, which includes an undergraduate decline of 5,383 students and a graduate and professional school decline of 1,251 students. The decrease in students is also reflective of the success of the university’s Fly in 4 Graduation Partnership, which works to ensure that students graduate in four years with as little debt as possible. The innovative program is one of the first of its kind in the United States, and it has been immensely successful. However, by the very nature of the program, its success will ultimately mean that there are less students on campus.
As Temple’s enrollment has decreased, the university has worked to trim its budget wherever possible. Since fiscal year 2021, Temple has reduced its budget by $122.6 million - FY21 = $48.5M, FY22 = $33.0M and FY23 = $41.1M. The vast majority of these reductions were largely imposed on the administrative departments by eliminating vacant positions and non-bargaining salary reductions. At times, we have administered hiring freezes while also identifying opportunities to optimize organizational efficiencies. Significant layoffs have never been pursued.