A miscalculation at UNCW led to a $3 million shortfall during its fall semester because students who were enrolled in the college didn't take as many classes as the university anticipated.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A miscalculation at UNCW led to a $3 million shortfall during its fall semester because students who were enrolled in the college didn't take as many classes as the university anticipated.
According to the chancellor's Chief of Staff Max Allen, the school enrolled enough students last fall, but those students (specifically at the graduate level) elected not to take as many credit hours as projected.
With credit hours down, tuition coming into the university was also down by a little more than $3 million. Allen says the university's overall budget is more than $50 million, and that it's rare that UNCW is off by that much, but described enrollment planning as a delicate balance.
"In our case, what happened was graduate students just didn't take as many classes, and so because of that, we had to make that difference up in the spring semester," he said. "So right now, we made up those differences, and everything is going fine."
According to Allen, credit hours are down for grad students are down nationwide due to the economy.
"Bottom line, it was about graduate students needing to work because of income and those kinds of things, and not necessarily taking enough classes for the university's standpoint," said Allen. "But for their own standpoint, they needed to do what they needed to do to pay their bills and make ends meet."
The university didn't have to make any cuts as a result of the miscalculation, and Allen says it had very little impact on students.
In the spring, the college took in more students at graduate and undergraduate level to offset the shortfall.
Allen says a taskforce was put together as a result of the error, and the group is expected to report to the chancellor in a few weeks on ways to improve this process to make sure this doesn't happen again.