Despite the dark times of the current economic recession, Louisiana College continues to hold steady financially.
PINEVILLE – Despite the dark times of the current economic recession, Louisiana College continues to hold steady financially.
“Louisiana College has been adversely affected by the recession just like every other higher education institution in the country,” President Joe Aguillard said, “but perhaps not to the degree that many other schools have been touched.”
Aguillard pointed out that Louisiana College has a $28 million dollar endowment, which benefits some of its scholarship and academic programs.
While the market has adversely affected Louisiana College’s endowments, other revenue sources have allowed Louisiana College to avoid the massive cuts and layoffs that are occurring at other institutions, the president said.
Aguillard also addressed possible cost and building issues for Louisiana College.
“As the financial situation continues to unfold, we will closely watch how the financial climate may affect our donors and students,” Aguillard said.
As LC addresses future needs in capital outlay projects such as classrooms, the economy can sometimes work to one’s advantage, Aguillard said.
“With the demand for construction down and services and goods made more available, we may be able to capture even better project prices than before the recession,” Aguillard said.
One of Louisiana College’s business professors also shared hope for LC’s future.
“In my opinion, the recession is just beginning, and we’ve seen a small increase in unemployment,” said Professor David Culp.
Culp said that typically, when a recession occurs and people are laid off or lose their jobs some choose to return to school. Some of these students could choose LC, which could help the college financially.
“I think Louisiana College is well-situated right now, even going into the recession,” Culp said.
Besides endowments, one of Louisiana College’s most important areas of financial concern involves the issue of student loans.
“At this point, I would say that student loans have not been affected,” Director of Financial Aid Ronnie Lalande said, “but the fall semester could be different.”
Lalande said that as local businesses become affected by the economic situation, some people might make less money or get laid off, which could affect Louisiana College’s loans and grants.
Lalande also said that the signing of the stimulus package by President Barack Obama will increase Pell grants and make an immediate impact on Louisiana College.
As the local economy begins to be affected, and jobs become more evaluated and scrutinized, families may find themselves in need of more help, depending on the outcome of their jobs, Lalande added.
“If their monthly income or yearly income decreases dramatically,” Lalande said, “then we’ll see a rise in the number of grants that students receive here at the college as well as our loans.
“At this point in time, we really don’t know a lot, and while things are normal now, I can see why they would change,” Lalande added.
President Aguillard said he remains confident, despite the challenges that lie ahead for Louisiana College.
“As we look to the near and distant future of Louisiana College as it relates to the economic situation,” Aguillard said, “we find ourselves confident that we will be able to continue the present services, employment contracts and strategic plans that many of our sister institutions are facing.”
Aguillard concluded that Louisiana College’s good fortune “is no accident, but a blessing from the Lord.”