15-16 $100/FTE 4% State Aid Increase Approved … proposed budget being finalized; approved state aid is still $78 / student ($400k) less than 7 years ago
Last week, the four budget scenarios summarized below were shared with Board of Trustee members, with modeled state aid increases including the $50 recommended by the NYS Assembly, the $100 recommended by the Senate, a $75 possible compromise state aid level, and a $125 increase.
15-16 SUNY Broome operating budget scenarios at various levels of state aid:
State aid increase per FTE Tuition increase (full-time annual) Fund balance use
$50 3.5% $142 $203,908
$75 2.9% $120 $205,363
$100 2.5% $104 $187,870
$125 2.0% $82 $189,326
State aid has been approved to increase by $100 per student full-time equivalent, and the proposed budget is being finalized at this level. At $2,597 per student FTE, the approved state aid is $78 less per student — $400,000 less in total — than what would’ve been received 7 years ago in 2008-09 for this number of students.
The tentative proposed tuition rate is less than the rate of inflation and is anticipated to leave SUNY Broome in the lower half of NYS community college tuition.
This week the budget development process is being wrapped up. A final review of the continuing personnel budget has been completed, decisions have been made on which searches are most critical to undertake right away, and consideration has been given to proposed contractual expenses and miscellaneous revenue budgets.
Proposed budget scenario(s) will be discussed at the full Board meeting this month. This will be the final opportunity to discuss the developing budget before it is finalized and submitted to the County Executive later this month.
SUNY Broome Fund Balance And Comparisons With Other NYS Community Colleges
An analysis of how SUNY Broome’s fund balance compares with other NYSCC’s as of August 31, 2014 is presented this month. Highlights follow:
At $2.5 million, Broome’s unreserved fund balance…
- = 5.7% of budget (as planned and forecast)
- Is at the bottom end of the 5% to 15% range recommended by SUNY
- Average NYSCC has an unreserved fund balance = 13.7%
- 5 of 30 NYSCC’s have lower fund balance % than Broome
- 8 of 30 NYSCC’s have lower $$$ in their fund balance
- FIT has the greatest fund balance in terms of $ and % budget ($66 million and 39%)
- Ulster CC (a small school) has lowest fund balance in terms of $ and % budget ($256k and 1%)
- 5 colleges have reserved more than $1 million of their fund balance; the purpose of the reserves not known
- We are currently forecasting closing out this fiscal year with fund balance at 8% – 9% of budget as result of this year’s enrollment growth and strategic decision to move our fund balance towards 10% of budget then keep it there, the middle of the range recommended by SUNY.
- Our goal is to budget to use no fund balance (or as little as possible) until it is returned to at least 10% of budget
Summer and Fall Application and Enrollment Picture Favorable
Summer enrollment full-time equivalents are currently 13% greater than last year at the same time – 2 months before classes start. The many steps taken to improve summer enrollment and recoup last summer’s 15% enrollment decline appear to be bearing fruit.
The fall enrollment picture is also favorable at this time – applications are up 14% compared with last fall (more than half-way through the fall application process), acceptances are up by 4%, and course registrations after the first week of fall registration are up by 19% (headcount) and 24% (FTE).
Enrollment and High School Graduation Trends Explored
With 75% of operating revenues linked directly to student enrollment, there is much interest in student enrollment as it relates to finances. The percentage of budget revenues linked to enrollment is rising to 90% in a few years as the amount we are allowed to charge other NYS counties for their students attending Broome is linked to the amount Broome County Government contributes per resident student as currently planned.
SUNY Broome enrollment and comparison with other NYSCCs (and link to revenues)
Last month SUNY Broome’s anticipated 14-15 enrollment growth was discussed with the Board of Trustees. An analysis of NYS community college enrollments was distributed at the Board meeting. Additional enrollment analysis has been undertaken, and is being shared this month. Enrollment and related financial highlights follow.
- Enrollment is forecast to increase by 5.2% this year to 5,117 FTE (increased to 5,134 in recent weeks)
- Broome’s enrollments compare favorably with our budgeted 2% enrollment increase
- The enrollment growth was strategically planned and resulted from 3 primary areas: student housing opening with most students from out-of-county, Binghamton Advantage Program growing by a good 100 students, nearly all from out-of-county, and increasing student retention efforts (to be shared by Executive VP & CAO Battisti this month)
- This 5.2% enrollment increase reverses a 4 year 11% decline (09-10 5,468 FTE to 13-14 4,863 FTE)
- While our enrollment is finally moving upward, it is still 6.4% less than our 09-10 5,468 FTE peak
- The budget implications of the enrollment changes are easily calculated: with each % enrollment = $370k in student revenues, this year’s 5.2% enrollment growth restored a bit less than half of the $4.1 million in student revenues lost to our campus in the past 4 years; some of the restored revenue will come to the campus this year in the form of student tuition (and all but $500k was budgeted), and the remainder – state aid – has been built into next year’s tentative proposed operating budget
- Broome’s enrollments compare favorably with all other NYS community colleges, none of whom are forecasting enrollment growth – ¾ are forecasting enrollment declines this year, with the average NYS community college is forecasting a 3.4% enrollment decline, following a national trend of enrollment decline.
- Enrollment by Broome County residents has declined by 5% this year and 9% in the past 4 years
Regional High School Graduation and Broome Enrollment Trends
Last month there was also discussion at the Board of Trustees meeting on declining local high school graduation rates, trends, and the percentage of students who attend SUNY Broome. An in-depth analysis on regional high school graduation rates, trends, and the % of students who attend SUNY Broome has been developed and is being shared with Board members this month. Highlights follow:
- # regional high school graduates has declined by 8% in the past 3 years since peaking
- # regional high school graduates attending SUNY Broome has declined by 15% in the past 3 years since peaking
- % of regional high school graduates attending SUNY Broome has declined from 39% 3 years ago to 36%
Broome County Residents Attending Other NYS Community Colleges
Last month there was discussion at the Board of Trustees meeting about Broome County resident enrollment trends, specifically concern about whether there has been an increase in the number of residents attending other NYS community colleges. The answer is ‘yes.’ An in-depth analysis of this has been developed, and is presented this month.
Exploring How to Access SUNY- Wide Purchasing Contracts Bid Based Upon ‘Best Value’
Recently we have recently learned that some SUNY-wide purchasing contracts were let based upon a new concept called ‘best value purchasing’ rather than traditional competitive bidding and RFPs for professional services. College counsel has advised that state law requires the adoption of legislation by Broome County Government before we can use a state contract awarded under this method.
The College is identifying which contracts were awarded this way, and is planning to propose Broome County Government legislation to allow us to use the SUNY-wide contracts, which are very competitive in light of the SUNY system’s great economies of scale.
Implementation of Online Retirement Coordinator System Underway
A multi-vendor online retirement coordinator system is being implemented which enables employees to enroll in and manage investments not only in the Optional Retirement Plans (ORP), but also in the 403(b) Voluntary Savings Program. This system will feature eligibility verification and will allow for easier, unified, and comprehensive management of ORP. Testing of files is underway with our payroll office working closely with TIAA-CREF and SICAS to produce Seed test files. TIAA-CREF is the common remitter for the ORP. The estimated go-live date is mid-July.
Developed by R. Losinger, VPAFA, and Jeanette Tillotson, Associate VP & Controller
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