We are now a week into Winter Term and there is a lot of good news to pass on.
This is by far our best enrollment ever. We have 19 students enrolled, but even more exciting is the fact that these 19 students have enrolled for 41 credits! Let me put this into perspective. Last term we had 11 students enrolled for 15 credits. That means the number of credits taken this term is almost 3 times last term! Praise God!
For those of you who are visual, here is a chart showing our average enrollment per term for each academic year we have offered courses.
And here is chart showing our average credits taken per term for each academic year we have offered courses.
I had to double check the numbers on this last chart because it looked fake. But after looking over the numbers, this is definitely accurate. It is exciting to step back and see what God is doing!
Financially we are stable and showing slow growth. To be totally transparent, our finances have fluctuated dramatically over the last few years. But recently we have been able to build a small but stable budget around our regular donors and special events. Here is what our income has looked like over the last 5 quarters.
This is a great trend in the right direction. Once again I want to praise God for His faithfulness! (For those of you who are detail people – WAC runs on a July to June fiscal year. That is why Quarter 4, 2017, occurs before Quarter 1, 2017, in the chart. Quarter 1, 2017 is the beginning of the 2017-18 fiscal year.)
So what do all these numbers mean for our future?
God Is at Work
First, it means God has been working and guiding us. We may not always be able to see His hand when we look at the day to day, or even month to month, activities, but when we step back we can see His continual guidance and direction.
Next Step for Enrollment
Our next step in enrollment is to find our first full time students. In order for us to take the next big step in growth we need to begin the switch from primarily part-time students to primarily full-time students. Full-time students will give us a more stable enrollment base and allow us to develop a regular rotation of courses. Of even greater value, full-time students are why we started WAC – to see lives changed as people are trained for full-time ministry. We have plans in place that we believe will help us achieve this goal in the next year. Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we seek for our first full-time students.
Next Step for Finances
Although our finances are stable, they are still significantly below what we need to begin the accreditation process. In fact, they are not only not in the ball park, they aren’t even in the same country. Last year (actual, not fiscal) we brought in a little over $22,000. To begin the accreditation process we probably need nearly 10x that number.
Here is where stepping back and seeing God’s work is so valuable. We can see God’s hand in our work, so we trust Him for the future as we make our plans. We believe He is working and will continue to supply. We also believe it is our job to use the wisdom God has given us to make the best plans we can to achieve the goals He has laid out before us.
- Tuition Change. When we set our tuition at $55 per credit, we knew it was not a long term solution. No college can run with that low of tuition without a significant endowment. We also fear that the low tuition may give the wrong impression about the quality of our education. So, we are currently looking at what it would look like to move toward a more financially feasible tuition, one that better reflects the actual value of our education, without loosing our current student base. This is not an easy step and we are carefully considering our next move. Please pray for us as we make our tuition plans for this coming year.
- Scholarship Change. Although we know that we will eventually have to increase tuition, we also want to keep our costs reasonable. The best way to do this is through scholarships. But for scholarships to be financially beneficial they will need to be funded by partners. Soon we will be offering a chance for people and businesses to partner with us to offer scholarships that will help offset the costs of attending WAC. Please pray that God would lead us to the partners we need to offer these scholarships.
All of these changes are expected to happen before Summer, so keep you eyes open for our next update.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support! God is using your partnership with WAC to change lives.