Hollins University has received an “A” in the 2013 Forbes College Financial Grades, which the magazine says ”measure the fiscal soundness of more than 900 four-year, private, not-for-profit schools with more than 500 students.”
Forbes lists Hollins’ “financial GPA” as 4.013 out of maximum 4.5, which ranks 76th in the country and third in Virginia behind Washington and Lee University (ranked 10th nationally) and the University of Richmond (ranked 42nd).
“The grades measure financial fitness as determined by nine components broken into three categories,” Forbes says. The variables used to determine balance sheet and operational strength include:
- Year-end endowment assets divided by the number of 12 month full-time equivalent students
- How well a college’s “expendable assets” cover its annual expenses
- The amount of expendable assets a college has relative to its debt load
- How well a college meets its obligations (such as instructional expenses and students services) from the tuition, grants, gifts, and investment revenue it receives
- How dependent a college is on tuition for core revenues
- Whether a college’s assets are actually growing
- The percentage of admitted students who actually choose to attend a particular college
- The percentage of students actually getting institutional grants or rebates from colleges to attract enrollment
- How much money a particular college devotes to the core mission of higher education
The Forbes College Financial Grades, which use the two most recent fiscal years available from the Department of Education (2011 and 2010), are published in the magazine’s August 13 issue.