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Liberty University Annual Report to Trustees

Executive Summary

Liberty University is among the largest Christian based institutions in the world. It enables students to experience growth academically, spiritually and physically. The enrollment statistics show an increase in the number of students over the recent times with most students currently living off campus. These students originate from different parts of the world. The university has set up plans to expand infrastructural facilities and improve efficiency in their operations. Its academic programs have been accredited thus giving the university much recognition as a top learning institution. Different sources of funding are available for students in an effort to meet their financial and educational needs. There are however a number of challenges that the institution is likely to face in the coming years. Managing the issues will help it to thrive and maintain its position as a center for excellence.

Institutional Mission

Liberty University is a Christian based institution that offers higher education programs. The institution strongly holds to the vision of the founder, Dr Jery Falwell, whose main motivation was to establish a center of growth in the academic, spiritual, mental and physical aspects (“Mission Statement”, 2016). The university offers a wide range of study programs, financial aid for needy students and opportunities for students to build their talents.

Student Enrollments/Statistics

Liberty university currently has a total number of 49, 863undergraduate students and a total student population of 81, 459. The females comprise of 58% of the population while the males comprise of 42% of the population. Out of this population, 16% reside within the college premises while 84% stay off campus (“Forbes”, 2016). This number of students in the institution is significantly greater than the previous years. In 2014, the institution had over 13, 800 students who included about 7,700 students staying within the campus premises while the rest stayed off campus. The increase in the student population was attributed to the setup of the nine-story building that was used to offer accommodation for over 1200 students. The institution has enrolled students from different ethnic backgrounds worldwide. Currently, the American Indian or Alaskan native occupants make up 0.6% of the population while the Asians, Hawaiians/Pacific Islander, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino, whites and two or more races make up 0.9%, 0.2%, 15.4%, 1.7%, 51% and 2.3% respectively. Non-resident aliens comprise of 1.4% of the population (“Forbes”, 2016).

Infrastructure plans

A visit to Liberty presents an image of an institution that is changing rapidly. This change has been attributed to the $500 million rebuilding campaign that is aimed at restricting and introducing new facilities to the university. New halls of residence and other infrastructure such as sporting facilities are being developed under the campaign. The campaign was set to upgrade the Flames Pass campus card program to a new and advanced NFC technology to help in offering efficient services to students at the university (“Liberty University Upgrades”, 2016). The university is keen on further advancements to reduce the amount of time wasted by the long dining queues as a result of the large student population. The institution plans to eventually migrate to a mobile supported system so the students can carry out most operations using their smartphones. The campus also focuses on major plans that include construction of the Freedom Tower, the Indoor Track Natatorium, Montview Student Union, Student Housing, Athletic & Performance Center as well as a football practice facility (“Liberty Campus Improvements”, 2016).

Accreditation/Reviews on Degrees or Programs

Liberty University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC). It received an award for an associate, bachelors, masters, doctoral and specialist degrees. Accreditation is a system that ensures the university meets the strict standards set to support quality education for their various programs through proper administration (“Institutional Accreditation”, 2016). It also ensures that the courses earned from this institution will be recognized by other institutions as well as the Department of Education in the United States. Most of the university’s programs are accredited by other recognized accrediting agencies. These include the Athletic Training , Accounting, Business Management Information Systems, Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Accounting, Counseling, Engineering, Exercise Science, Nursing, Medicine, Law, Music and Sport Management (“Institutional Accreditation”, 2016).

Financial statistics and/or challenges

Currently, over 80% of the full time leaners at the institution receive financial aid from donors. The scholarship or grants amount to $10, 618. The institution offers advice on how to reduce costs by choosing the best tax advantage accounts for students. The available statistics indicate that the applicants of the need-based aid in 2016/2017 were over 90%. The financial needs were fully met for 2.2% of the applicants (“Liberty University”, 2016). 84% of all applicants received the financial aid while 58.6% received the self-help need based aid. On average, 27% of the needs of the applicants were met. The tuition and fees for 2016/17 is $23,020 whereas the room and board fee is $9, 306. The Forbes has listed a number of factors that determine the financial stability of institutions. These include investments in the expandable assets, core operating margin, tuition fee charges and returns on assets among others. In the case of Liberty University, it is worth noting that the university is nonprofit institution that relies mainly on financial aid to run its programs. The rate of dependency on tuition fee is believed to be over 80% (“Forbes”, 2016). This is considered a huge challenge as regards to the institution’s operations.

Significant Foundation Donors or Corporate Donations

There are several donors who support the university’s advancement programs including the maintenance and building of new structures such as the library. Individuals such and David Guess, Arvin G. Harsh, Morris Adams, Nancy Hobbs, Lula Bunion are among the several individuals who have donated to the university’s development programs. The corporate donors include, The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and the Charles Koch University among other corporates (“Liberty University Donors”, 2016). The university currently partners with other institutions and business organizations such as Southern Air, fire and Safety Equipment Company, Virginia Diesel and Track Repair, Liberty Christian Academy, Chamber land Construction and La Quinta Inn & Suites among others. (“Liberty University Sponsors”, 2016).

Accolades on Athletic Programs

The athletic program at the university has seen tremendous success over a period of time. With the best training facilities, the students are able to gain the sufficient skills that make them leaders on major competitions both nationally and internationally. Liberty University’s athletics teams, also referred to as the Liberty Flames, are among the best teams in the country competing in major divisions such as Division I of the NCAA. The team is also part of the Big South Conference (“Athletics at Liberty | Liberty University”, 2016). The university has been listed alongside other highly ranked universities in terms of sports talent besides their academic excellence.

Critical Issues the Institution May Face in the Future

The main issues facing the university are mainly associated with in sufficient finances to run its operations. Currently, the university depends largely on the tuition fees to run most of its operations. A number of students also face challenges in raising their fees which implies high dependency on donors for their studies. In most cases, donors and sponsors may not be in a position to meet all the students’ financial needs. This partial sponsorship has a huge impact on the students’ campus life as they may struggle to meet their needs thus affecting their academic performance. Notably, financial aid and donations are not always guaranteed. As such, the university cannot operate on a certain budget. This makes it difficult to plan and make major decisions in different aspects of management. The university’s strategic plan to improve on the efficiency of its technological operations poses great challenges due to the costs and expertise required to meet the objectives. The issue of integrating Christianity and education has always and is likely to continue facing challenges due to the fact that some of the students admitted come from families that are not firmly based on Christianity (“Liberty University Reviews”, 2016). Some students may opt not to select the university because of the fact that it is a Christian based institution.

New Programs, Scholarships, or Grants

The Liberty University has introduced new online programs to accommodate the needs of students who are not able to physically attend classes. These include the BSC History and cognates such as Health Care Informatics, Crisis Counseling, Paralegal studies, Life Coaching among others. Minors available include International Studies, Military History and Autism. The Early Deposit Award and the Priority Program are part of the new funding options for the students (“International Scholarships & Financial Aid”, 2016). The Liberty Champion Award, Academic Achievement, Academic Honors Early Deposit Award are also part of the scholarships awarded to the students at the university. Grants sources include the Tobacco Region Grants and the Liberty Scholars Grant program. Funding sources for the institution include FAFSA, Federal Loans, World of Bible Institute, Marching Band, Canadian Student Initiative, and AWANA among others (“Financial Aid | Scholarships”, 2016).

References

Athletics at Liberty | Liberty University. (2016). Liberty.edu. Retrieved from http://www.liberty.edu/aboutliberty/?PID=25402

Financial Aid | Scholarships. (2016). Liberty.edu. Retrieved from http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=298

Forbes. (2016). Forbes.com. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/colleges/liberty-university/#

Forbes. (2016). Forbes.com. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/schifrin/2016/07/06/forbes-2016-financial-grades-is-your-college-financially-fit/#284fe8217309

Institutional Accreditation. (2016). Liberty University. Retrieved from https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=7650

International Scholarships & Financial Aid. (2016). Liberty.edu. Retrieved from http://www.liberty.edu/undergrad/index.cfm?PID=22272

Liberty Campus Improvements. (2016). Liberty.edu. Retrieved from http://www.liberty.edu/aboutliberty/index.cfm?PID=27192

Liberty University. (2016). Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved from http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/liberty-university-10392

Liberty University Donors. (2016). Liberty.edu. Retrieved from http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=25134#naming_opps

Liberty University Reviews. (2016). Onlinedegreereviews.org. Retrieved from http://www.onlinedegreereviews.org/college/liberty-university-reviews/reviews/

Liberty University Sponsors. (2016). Liberty.edu. Retrieved from http://www.liberty.edu/campusrec/clubsports/?PID=25995

Liberty University Upgrades. (2016). Blackboard Transact. Retrieved from https://www.blackboard.com/Images/liberty_case_study_tcm21-29875.pdf

Mission Statement. (2016). Liberty University. Retrieved from https://www.liberty.edu/aboutliberty/?PID=6899

 

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