Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth and final in a series that examines the current financial state of the College.
MONTEREY, Calif. — Enrollment at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies has increased over the past three years as part of a revenue-growing program. The increases coincide with a budget crisis facing the Middlebury corporation, which has been forced to cut spending and find new revenue streams.
Monterey became an affiliate of the College in December 2005, when its enrollment totaled 698 full-time students. That number peaked at 788 in fall 2008, and declined over all during the Great Recession until it reached a low of 661 in 2014, when the Institute adopted a new enrollment strategy. It grew to 673 in the school year beginning in fall 2015, and this year is currently at 740. Enrollment is expected to grow by 7 percent for the next academic year, to 795, according to Rebecca Henriksen, the Institute’s dean of enrollment.
Tuition, room and board for the coming school year costs $54,666. Other expenses make the total estimated cost $62,022, according to the Institute’s website. A cost section on the website says that 88 percent of Monterey students receive scholarships, including merit awards and need-based financial aid.
In December 2013, Middlebury revised its governance structure to incorporate Monterey under one of three trustee committees known as Boards of Overseers. The College, the Language Schools and the Institute each is governed by one of these boards, which convene in Old Chapel three times per year when the trustees arrive. Middlebury leadership considers its three constituent institutions as “One Middlebury” in all of its decisions and discussions.
“Monterey is an important part of the Middlebury family,” Henriksen said. “While the enrollment growth at the Institute is a part of a broader revenue generation plan for Middlebury, the expectation is that the Institute should be managed in such a way to be financially healthy and viable on its own.”
The Institute has partnered with international education programs like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, the Fulbright program and Teach for America since it adopted new strategies in 2014. Jeff Dayton-Johnson, the Institute’s dean, said that these “institutional partnerships” were intended to increase the number of applications, especially from high-quality applicants who fit the Institute’s mission of global engagement.
Officials at Monterey also professionalized the admissions recruiting process and the Institute’s overall marketing strategy, Dayton-Johnson said. He attributed the increased enrollment since 2014 to these measures, along with the strategic partnerships and a greater use of technology in the admissions office. Administrators plan to ensure that enrollment reaches desired levels by continuing these tactics.
“It starts with having a very clear enrollment target and a shared responsibility for meeting the target,” Dayton-Johnson said. He said the Institute was committed to strategies like marketing, monitoring of enrollment indicators and strong partnerships. “We also need to keep our eyes open to the skills, competencies and academic areas that prospective students and employers are looking for,” he said.
As it works to increase enrollment, the Institute is working to attract students from other Middlebury schools under what Dayton-Johnson called a fundamental relationship. The Institute guarantees a $10,000 “legacy” scholarship to graduates of any Middlebury school and their family members. It also offers an accelerated graduate degree option for graduates of the College, who can complete a master’s degree at the Institute more quickly than other students — in about one-and-a-half years, Dayton-Johnson said.
A growing number of current Middlebury College students are participating in academic programs at the Institute. These include courses taught simultaneously on both campuses by faculty from both Middlebury and Monterey — one of them, titled “Water in an Insecure World,” was offered this spring. Students at the College can also participate in “study away” at Monterey for the term, and a summer internship at the Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the leading research institute for nuclear nonproliferation policy.
Will DiGravio contributed reporting.