By Emma Whitford
“The initiative changes Rider’s high tuition, high discount pricing model, which creates a significant hurdle for students and families who believe the sticker price immediately puts a Rider education financially out of reach,” Brown said in a February statement.
While university leaders work to recruit and retain more students, continued financial challenges could work against them, said Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, a nonprofit think tank. Students and parents have greater access to consumer information today than they did a decade ago, and Rider’s uncertain future could influence prospective students not to consider or attend Rider.
The university has relied more heavily on credit to fund operations in recent years, the Moody’s report showed. In fiscal year 2020, Rider reported $89 million in debt. That total jumped to $110 million after the university issued additional bonds in fiscal 2021. The university has budgeted debt repayment as part of normal operations, Brown said.
Estimates of students’ unfinished learning vary, but most suggest that for many students, there’s a lot of ground to cover.