With enrollment dropping, many Minnesota State Colleges and Universities are operating at a loss.

With the low unemployment rate and the declining number of young people in the state, it has put the higher education system in budget cutting mode for years. This year, 22 schools operated at a loss while 15 schools actually made money, according to the Pioneer Press.

Two years ago, 19 of the 37 schools were on a watch-list when it came to balancing their budget and failing financial stress tests. Now, that number is down to nine.

“Campuses are getting better at forecasting their enrollment — or they’re getting less optimistic,” chief financial officer Laura King said to the Pioneer Press. “Folks are doing good jobs with budgets, they’re not spending fund balances,” King said. “They’re struggling to balance budgets but they’re getting them balanced.”

Last year, enrollment was at 131,640, which is down 17 percent from 2010-11, and they are expecting another 1.9 percent decline this year.

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