Simmons financial reporting for the fiscal year of 2022 sparks student concern

Regarding the impact on the Simmons community, Kass explained that tuition will likely rise every year.


Photo by Adriana Arguijo Gutierrez.

Grace Tamborella, News Editor

Simmons’ Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Meghan Kass reported that the University’s operating result was a loss of $14.5 million for the fiscal year of 2022. The operating result shows what the University has earned before the deduction of taxes and interest. Simmons earned a deficit of $14.5 million in 2022, sparking concern amongst students.  

Jayla Toolin, sophomore Neuroscience and Behavior major expressed her concern with the current financial situation: “I don’t feel that there is a lot of [monetary] support from the [academic] organizations, at least being pre-health…not having funds to invest in [networking and internships] can make the future more daunting.” 

Noa Asher, a sophomore Neuroscience major, added that she felt the deficit was “concerning,” and was worried about the University’s ability to supply students with adequate resources while the University is “losing all this money.”

Kass explained that the deficit was anticipated, as the University borrowed money to fund construction projects, as well as signed a contract to protect from the rise of construction costs. “We issued debt towards the end of 2022 to finance some of the construction projects; the rest of the science center, library, and the Living and Learning Center,” adding that there were payments still being made at this time that were tied to the University’s partnership with 2U. However, she expressed that “the way the leadership and board view it, we’re in a period of investment.” 

Kass said there is an expected deficit for the fiscal year of 2023, but it will not be “as severe as 2022,” adding that the University is still recovering from some of the impacts of the pandemic and the rise of online learning across higher education. “We’re seeing increased competition in the online market, we’re seeing a decline in both our traditional and online graduate programs, which is putting pressure on our operating result.” 

Kass mentioned that it will take a couple of years to come out of the deficit and that increasing student revenue, like tuition and fees, will allow the University to do so. “Tuition rates [at other universities] are lower than ours, and everyone is cost conscious in this environment. We want [prospective students] to be looking at the value a Simmons education gives,” said Kass, “How can we make our programs more distinctive, make it clear what the value of a Simmons undergraduate or graduate program is, and why people should be looking at us.”

Regarding the impact on the Simmons community, Kass explained that tuition will likely rise every year.  “We try to look at what competitors are doing. On the graduate side, we’re seeing that price pressure, so we want to price competitively in the market, so on the graduate side our tuition increases have been more modest than the undergraduate side in recent years.”

However, scholarships will not be impacted. Kass explains that “Simmons has always been very competitive around financial aid, so we’re not anticipating any significant changes in scholarship awards for students.” The current discount rate for student tuition is above the average for northeast private schools at 70%.

The complete Financial Statement for the Fiscal Year of 2022 can be found here.