Financial Summary, Balancing Quality and Cost
Bob Crow  with students

"The quality [of a Calvin education] is definitely worth the money. It’s a small price to pay for your child to learn Christian leadership."

Parent of a former Calvin student

The parent of a former Calvin student wrote the following in a recent survey from the college: "The quality [of a Calvin education] is definitely worth the money. It's a small price to pay for your child to learn Christian leadership."

The value of Calvin's academically excellent and distinctively Christian education is "definitely worth the money" for many young college students and their families. Such value arises from the mission that this college has faithfully maintained for generations—educating young men and women to be agents of renewal in God's world. And the mission inspires all aspects of the life of the campus. There is no financial measure for this cherished attribute, and yet, realistically, it requires significant resources to maintain the college. As these financial pages show, the college remains fiscally strong yet obviously dependent on tuition revenue and gifts from corporations, foundations, alumni, and friends.

While the price tag for a college education—at any school—can be lofty, we at Calvin work hard to keep tuition within reach. Because the college seeks to make academically excellent Christian education accessible to all qualified applicants, Calvin students receive almost $40 million in aid each year from federal, state, and college funds. Over 90 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid, and more than 60 percent receive need-based aid. This financial aid makes it possible for many students to attend Calvin despite the perception that Calvin is too expensive.

Current Funds Expenditure 2003-2004
Current Funds Expenditure 2003-2004
Enlarge graphic
Current Funds Revenue 2003-2004

Endowment increase
Calvin's endowment increased nearly 36percent from $50,552,992 in June 2003 to $68,831,257 in June 2004. Thanks to the foresight of past donors and investment returns on their gifts, the spendable income from endowment totals more than $3 million each year. Maintaining a healthy endowment and continually bolstering it is an important fiscal priority. But—as noted on the accompanying graph—compared to other institutions of Calvin's size and academic quality, our endowment is modest. To compete with similar high quality schools for students and top-notch faculty—and to ensure Calvin's future—the college must continually augment its endowment. We are grateful for the endowment growth this past year, and we seek to be good stewards of all the resources we have been given.

One source of income that has not grown commensurate with the expansion of the college and its operating budget is "ministry shares," formerly called "quotas." In 1970, ministry shares from the Christian Reformed Church accounted for 22 percent of Calvin's operating budget. Today, ministry shares provide 4.5 percent of the cost of education or $2.8 million per year. This "living endowment" is a generous gift to the college of approximately $17.50 per Christian Reformed Church member, yet it is no longer a significant proportion of the operating budget of the college as often believed.

Educating Christian leaders
At the heart of the college lies the integration of faith and learning—educating young men and women to be Christian leaders. The 2004 President's Report shows how this is experienced across campus. These financial pages describe the fiscal requirements to educate young men and women, recruit and retain excellent faculty, and maintain the campus. We are grateful to everyone who has participated in this important endeavor.

Endowment Values and Endowment Assests per Student 2002-2003

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