Alumni Donations Are Essential to MC Funding

During a mock press conference for Professor Trevathan’s journalism class on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Dr. Bryan Coker, President of Maryville College, offered insight into tuition rates, gift money and new majors.

Students asked Coker a variety of questions; one of which prompted him to open up about where MC’s funds come from and how they are used.

According to Coker, the new track cost $3 million; Sutton Science Center is unsustainable for the future; and the new Hospitality and Regional Identity major, as well as the recent logo rebrand, are gift-funded. 

When asked what proportion of funds come from tuition versus donations, Coker provided a pie chart. This pie chart, created by Vice President for Finance and Administration Jeff Ingle, shows an overview of income from the 2022 fiscal year.

The chart shows that “Net Tuition and Fees” make up only 39 percent of the college’s “Operating Revenue” during that fiscal year. It also shows that “Auxiliary Services – Room and Board” make up roughly 24 percent, and “Contributions and Private Grants” only make up five percent. 

Overall, the college’s revenue is “predominantly tuition,” according to Coker, and “Contributions and Private Grants” are only a small percentage. However, roughly 40 percent of the college’s income comes from sources other than tuition and room and board.

Interestingly, the college’s advertised tuition is a price “no student pays,” Coker said. Maryville College’s website says that “100 percent of students receive financial aid through scholarships, grants, loans or employment.”

Tuition for full-time students is $36,880. Add that number with other fees, such as room and board, and the total advertised price is $50,374.

So if students don’t pay full tuition prices, and tuition and room and board only make up about 60 percent of revenue, where does the rest of MC’s money come from? 

A majority is funded by the government, but some comes from contributions. Thus, alumni donations are a huge part of MC’s operating revenue. 

Over 8,000 alumni participate in the Maryville College Alumni Association (MCAA). These members are tasked with “keeping the alumni office and the administration informed about alumni opinion,” says the MCAA section of MC’s website. 

“The primary fundraising role of the MCAA board is its annual support of the Maryville Fund, which assists to fund annual operating expenses of the College,” the website reads.

There is also a Blount County Chapter of the MCAA (BCAA), which has 1,800 members. These board members are in charge of organizing the Fall Craft Festival, the Bake Sale during  Homecoming Week and the Christmas Open House at Willard House. 

“All monies raised help support an endowment for scholarships for students from Blount County,” says the website. 

On MC’s campus, alumni donations, fundraising and contributions play a huge part in the success of students. Alumni are also recognized on the Maryville College website. As former students themselves, alumni continue to highlight the wonderful parts of Maryville much as they did during their years on campus.

Homecoming 2022 is approaching fast, and this year, Alumni will be honoring the classes of 1962, 1972 and 1982 on October 21 through 23. Registration is now open, and a schedule of events can be found online. 

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