Experts Say Universities Should Prepare For Huge Financial Hit

CHARLOTTE, NC. — UNC Charlotte students haven until Friday to cancel on-campus housing without facing a penalty.

“Not only will they lose housing revenue, but they will also lose auxiliary services revenue. Such as food, events, and other expenses that students would typically pay while on campus,” says Paul Friga.

Friga is a professor of strategy at UNC-Chapel Hill Business School.

“You’re going to have a decrease, some decrease, and enrollment. Some decrease in tuition, some decrease in housing revenue. You’re going to have decreases in athletic revenue if things continue as it looks like they will.”

Friga says UNC Charlotte has a $727 million revenue base. If there’s a 20% cut, that could mean a loss of around $140 million dollars.

“It’s not unrealistic at all to assume you should be planning for a 25% or more hit to your budget.”

Meaning layoffs and furloughs. Friga says he also expects some universities across the country could close.

“Certainly not a university like UNC Charlotte. But there are estimates of hundreds of universities who are at great risk.”

Friga says although North Carolina is generous, the state views higher education as a discretionary spending area, so cuts could come from there as well.