Penn State Mont Alto enrollment is way down 

May 10 – Penn State Mont Alto is tied for fifth place on the list of enrollment numbers that are not very good. 

Out of 19 branch campuses of Penn State University, Mont Alto is tied for fifth place in declining enrollment. 

On Wednesday, Penn State offered major incentives for early retirement for employees, according to reports. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “I don’t know if this is much of a surprise.” 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I saw that chart and I hate to say this but I wonder if you’re seeing groundwork laid to consolidate i.e. close some of these Commonwealth Campuses. You look at those numbers, Mont Alto is now under 600 students and it looks like it’s been steadily declining for several years now. I can remember not long ago, there would be 1000 students or more historically, so a very significant drop. But moreover, you go through that list, look at all of those satellite campuses on that list that are even smaller. I mean, some are 300 to 400 students and when the Penn State President said she wants to cut $100 million from the budget, and they’re looking at the carrying costs of campuses with 300 and 400 students, you have to think from a business standpoint at the board level, there would have to be some discussions about at what point do we just merge or close some of these campuses outright? I hope that does not happen by the way locally, because I do think Mont Alto is very valuable for the local economy. It’s very important to local families. It’s a very affordable option to send their kids there versus having them go up to the main campus and pay for room and board. But those trend lines are not looking good.”

The future is not looking favorable for overall college student enrollment in general. 

Barkdoll said, “The demographics are just such that those numbers may continue to soften.” 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “They’ve ruined their value. I’m not speaking about Mont Alto by itself, but colleges are ruining their own brand. They are making themselves irrelevant. They decided to take the federal money and then just drop the grades. They’re not really teaching kids as well as they used to. They’re not proving their worth and we’re seeing it with what’s going on with the ridiculous degrees that don’t really make you be able to produce anything or create a great economy for yourself, with the current administration bailing people out because they’re realizing, they’re just going to keep throwing more money good after bad. It’s just ridiculous that we are not getting it. Colleges are making themselves not valuable and we’re treating them as something that’s not valuable.”

Ryan added, “It’s not a bailout, by the way. It’s just shifting some stupid decisions and people that are not owning up to the piece of paper they signed and walking away from their contract and laughing all the way, while the people that didn’t go to college or that are making a living and making the right moves in their world are now saddled with that debt. Joe Biden putting that on the other taxpayers is another stupid move by a stupid idiot.” 

Jansen said, “Wealth transference from the productive to the unproductive.” 

Ryan said, “By the way, if you look at that, we’re also seeing the very people that it’s helping, there are very rich people that are getting their debt forgiven here that have the means in which to pay that back.” 

Barkdoll confirmed, “The initial data is all of these loans, whatever you want to call them, forgiveness programs, abatement programs, are largely benefiting the wealthiest segment of society. So to the point you’re making, essentially, it’s the lower and middle income people that are subsidizing these massive write offs on student loans, which is just baffling. Getting back to this with Penn State, here’s the other big disconnect in this issue: Penn State or the PASSHE schools in general, you could use examples all over the country, you have this dynamic of declining enrollments, but ever expanding budgets, and there’s where the disconnect is. There’s where I think the Penn State president smartly is saying we need to peel back at least $100 million starting next year. We know at the PASSHE level, they did do some consolidation of campuses a couple years ago and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.”