Private colleges across America can’t pay their bills

Behind the scenes in colleges across the U.S., institutions are having trouble paying their bills.

Why it matters: There’s a reckoning coming in higher education — especially for smaller, private liberal arts schools — that’s been years in the making. In obvious ways, COVID-19 accelerated some of the trends, but college finances have been hurting for a while.

Pandemic-era government stimulus funds helped a slew of schools gain another year or two of financial runway.
Yes, but: Restructuring advisors that work with higher ed institutions as clients say there’s been an uptick in schools that are beginning to explore financial transactions to keep from going under.
Demographics is destiny: A declining birthrate means the pool of college-age Americans has been declining, and could it be as much as 15% lower by the mid-2020s compared with the early 2000s.

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