Forbes recently took a look at the financial health of 921 private not-for-profit colleges to determine their annual college financial ratings—this year as a potential measure of how they will weather the pandemic.
The leading finance publication specifically called out Oglethorpe University as a “standout,” citing the university’s “big comeback” financially.
“Oglethorpe finished fiscal 2018 with almost $100 million in net assets and a 36% operating margin, and its admissions yield for its 2019-20 freshman class rose to 26%. The gains across the board pushed its financial grade to a B-plus.”
Forbes attributed Oglethorpe’s jump to several factors, including the successful $50 million fundraising campaign achieved more than a year ahead of schedule in 2015, as well as the introduction of Oglethorpe’s signature Flagship 50 merit scholarship program, the first of its kind in the U.S.
Forbes assigned financial grades by measuring overall “balance sheet health and operating strength,” drawing from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics and based on pre-pandemic data from 2018 and 2019.
Forbes’ financial grades consider the following components: endowment assets, primary reserve ratio, viability ratio, core operating margin, tuition as a percentage of core revenues, return on assets, admission yield, percent of freshmen getting grant aid, and instruction expenses per full time student.