Allegheny versus the NCAC

Alex Holmes

Athletic teams at Allegheny College compete against schools in the North Coast Athletic Conference, but though most people only pay attention to the competition on the athletic fields, the schools in the NCAC are even more competitive beyond the immediate public eye.

The NCAC conference schools include Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and College of Wooster.

Though the schools are of varying sizes (there are just 906 students at Wabash while there are 2959 students at Oberlin) the schools have many similarities. Each of these schools has 10-12:1 student/faculty ratio, has a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and are liberal arts colleges in the same region.

Differences and comparisons between these schools are made every day in tuition, matriculates, retention, championship titles and rankings.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Allegheny as the 82nd National Liberal Arts School in the country, sixth in the NCAC conference. Allegheny has won 109 championship titles, making the college third in conference titles.

The NCAC conference schools have a wide range of tuition costs, ranging from Hiram’s’s $26,957 to Oberlin’s $59,474. Allegheny is second in the list at $49,020.

Another financial side of these colleges is their endowments. At the end of the 2012 fiscal year, Allegheny’s endowment was $146.5 million, ranking seventh out of the 10 conference schools.

According to Sue Gaylor, executive vice president, the market value as of June 30, 2013, was $162.8 million, but this number cannot be compared to the other schools until other results are released in January.

“There are two primary roles of the endowment: to preserve the long-term fiscal viability of the college and to supplement the annual operating budget,” Gaylor said.

Gaylor added that the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees manages the endowment fund and works to maximize returns over the long term so that students in the future will have the same experience as students now.

The endowment also contributes to current operating costs.

“The industry standard for colleges is to spend approximately five percent of the endowment value for current operations,” Gaylor said. For Allegheny, that means $7.6 million from the endowment towards operating costs, which is about 10.2 percent of the total operating budget.

Gaylor added that endowed scholarship funds, part of the endowment, help the college fund a portion of the $40.7 million financial aid offered to students for need-based and merit-based aid. The college is currently in the planning stages for the next capital campaign, from which some of the campaign funds will be added to the endowment.