Fairmont State University is the only public institution in the state of West Virginia to show no indicators of financial stress according to a recent article in The Hechinger Report. Fairmont State continues to position itself as financially responsible amidst the current pandemic.
The recent article, produced in partnership with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization, outlines how institutions in higher education were prepared to handle a crisis and their level of financial vulnerability.
“I often speak about the pride I take in our Falcon Family,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “And just like other families, we take our financial responsibilities seriously. For the past few years the entire Fairmont State community worked together as we instituted policy and programmatic changes that safeguard our financial health and identifies and promotes our unique academic programs. In combination with heightened recruiting and retention efforts, we have positioned ourselves to meet the needs of our community partners and to ensure that we continue to offer a quality, transformative education to all who seek it.”
Findings suggest that of the universities calculated within the Hechinger Report’s Financial Fitness Tracker, Fairmont State was the only public institution in the state of West Virginia to be devoid of any measurable stress scores in all four categories. Public four-year universities were scored in four categories, which include enrollment of first-time undergraduate students, retention rate for students, average tuition change, and change in state appropriations based on data from The National Center for Education Statistics.
According to the article, nationwide, more than 500 colleges and universities show warning signs in two or more metrics. This is attributed to decreased enrollment of first year students and less state and local appropriations. With two of the four stress test components purely enrollment driven, the recent strategic and internal initiatives implemented at Fairmont State that attracted and retained more students positioned the University in solid ground in the Hechinger Report.
“Fairmont State University offers degree programs that are highly sought after – by students and employers alike,” said Chris Sharps, Sr. Director of Recruitment. “Especially amid a global pandemic, students are seeking careers with strong job outlooks. From Nursing and Health Care Management, to Computer Science or Engineering, Cybersecurity, or Business Information Systems Management, to Biology, Teacher Education, Occupational Safety, Aviation, and Criminal Justice – the ‘essential’ jobs focus has brought students and their parents around to look at the job market a little differently. Our job is to help connect students to the careers that not just fit their skill set, but also fit their desire to contribute to society. We’re here to showcase the best Fairmont State University has to offer, and guide students through the decision-making process.”