Sunday, September 29, 2013

Assumption College: Message from President Francesco Cesareo

As an Assumption grad and a civilian journalist, inaccuracy in reporting is always a concern.





ASSUMPTION COLLEGE


Dear members of the Assumption College family,
  
You may have read articles this week in the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) and Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) that paint a negative portrayal of Assumption College's enrollment and financial standing. We believe that both articles depict the College in a misleading fashion. The BBJ reporter did not discuss the College's status with anyone at Assumption while preparing the original article and only spoke with CFO Chris McCarthy and Director of Finance Peter Wells after the article was published on Thursday and concerns were raised as to its content. We believe the WBJ piece heavily relied on the initial BBJ reporting.

I'd like to share with you some important information about Assumption's actual financial and enrollment status. The following data was shared with reporters from both publications, who neglected to include it in their articles, despite our lengthy conversations with them on Thursday, September 26.

For the past 37 consecutive years (including fiscal 2013), Assumption has had a balanced budget -- and ended each year with a surplus. In addition, according to Standard & Poor's -- which has assigned its "A-" long-term debt rating to Assumption -- the College has:

  • a solid balance sheet;
  • a mostly liquid endowment of $90 million as of August 30, 2013;
  • relatively low debt.
With respect to discrepancies in our enrollment and retention rates, the quality of the students that have been recruited has not declined. In fact, the quality of the entering class has improved significantly over the past several years. The average SAT score (two-parts) is a record 1130, the sixth straight year it has increased. The average GPA is a 3.35, consistent with past years. The retention rate for the most recent year where national comparison data is available is 85.6 percent. This is 10.8 percentage points higher than the national average for four-year private colleges and consistent with the average for Massachusetts private schools (85.8 percent), the highest figure for all states.

As always, I thank you for your continued support of Assumption College. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at fcesareo@assumption.edu, or Tim Stanton, vice president for institutional advancement, at tr.stanton@assumption.edu.

Dr. Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
President, Assumption College
Assumption College, Office of Alumni Relations, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609


ASSUMPTION COLLEGE | 500 Salisbury Street | Worcester | MA | 01609
The Boston Business Journal article can be found here

The Worcester article can be found here