Amherst College has the resources to deal with this. So many small schools don’t have such reserves.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports:

Amherst College says shutdown will cost it $10M

Costs associated with Amherst College’s decision to move instruction online, and sending students home for the remainder of the semester in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, could exceed $10 million, according to a memo sent to students and families by the president of the board of trustees.

In a letter titled “Rising to Meet the Challenge,” and addressed to the “Amherst Family” sent Tuesday, Andrew J. Nussbaum, a 1985 graduate, writes that maintaining the college’s excellence will require more than hard work, and that part of the effort will be replenishing the Amherst Fund and the COVID-19 Student Support Fund.

“Financially, the College remains secure, though we will experience substantial increased costs to honor the commitments we have made,” Nussbaum writes. “We estimate that the overall financial impact to the College of the move to remote learning may exceed the $10 million raised by the Amherst Fund last year.”

The Amherst Fund, made up of the Alumni Fund and The Parents’ Fund, raises money from 12,000 alumni, parents and friends. It is directed to the college’s top priorities, and makes up 5% of the total operating budget.

The college has a $2.4 billion endowment, though that is likely to be diminished in the current economic downturn.


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