Preserve Drew University's Future


Preserve Drew University’s Future


Drew University, like many higher education institutions throughout the nation, has suffered from financial stress stemming from a confluence of factors including, but not limited to: the COVID-19 pandemic and a demographic shift in college-aged students impacting enrollment. These factors have taken a toll on the University’s endowment, which directly impacts our ability to provide financial aid and academic opportunities.

In order to improve the financial health of our endowment and maintain our legacy of providing robust scholarships and academic programs to our student body, Drew’s Board of Trustees has begun to explore all available options, including leveraging our available resources, to find a solution. To develop a response to these troubling and pervasive challenges to higher education, Drew’s leadership, including the president and Board of Trustees, has engaged with a committee of experts, including a qualified team of land-use professionals, to help inform and guide our strategy.

It has become clear that the most feasible, promising, and timely option to improve Drew’s endowment is to administer a market-value land sale of parcels on the periphery of the campus. The multiple facets of this process are actively being negotiated with the Borough of Madison. Through this process, Madison and all members of Friends of the Drew Forest will have an opportunity to have their voices heard.

The University is committed to keeping its students, alum network, faculty, and community apprised of any developments. Drew will continue to update this page with news regarding efforts to ensure the future strength of the endowment, particularly as it pertains to the sale of University lands. This is an important moment in the long history of Drew University, but it’s one that can help improve the institution’s ability to continue to support our future students. Drew is fortunate to have the leadership and community necessary to embrace today’s challenges, and we are grateful for your continued support.

Additional Information:

  • Figures for national college enrollment show a decline of nearly one million students nationwide since the start of the pandemic and nearly three million over the last decade in absolute terms. (Source)
  • Average state aid for Drew University has dropped to less than a tenth of its previous value in the 2010s, with only a slight rise recently due to the pandemic.
  • Over the course of the pandemic we have seen the ‘largest two-year enrollment decline in at least the last 50 years in the U.S.’. (Source)
  • We have compiled media coverage spanning the past two years, providing additional context for the above information, including the challenges that Drew is working to overcome. You can find additional reading here.