Op-Ed: A Closer Look – Non Profit Light highlights college expenses, revenues and administrative salaries


Photo: Utica College Media Relations

Nick McAdam, Editor-in-Chief

Non Profit Light is an online database that highlights organizational salaries, revenues and expenses, all of which are easily accessible to the public and free to use.

The database allows users to search by location and specific organizations. It also ranks expenses, revenues and salaries in the region.

At the moment, Utica College is ranked third for nonprofits in the area in both annual revenue ($104,359,411) and expenses ($98,993,758) trailing only the St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare.

The database also lists executive salaries that are listed on recent tax filings. At the moment, nine out of the 10 listed names come from the administration who earn over six figures collecting a combined $1,652,498.

Users can also compare figures to other private institutions in the region such as Hamilton College, boasting over $1 billion in net assets and more than $200 million in total revenue for the past year. The top four individual salaried workers at Hamilton College, according to the database, make more than Utica College’s administration combined.

Earnings and expenses come directly from the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Form 990. Though the college’s last publicly available report was from 2019, both individual salaries and college finances come very close to matching what is currently reported on Non Profit Light. 

The database makes reading through pages of tax forms much easier, although for those who are interested in diving deeper into college expenses, such as custodial payments, Sodexo expenses and grant amounts, can look directly at the IRS report, though the most recent report found ended the fiscal year in May 2019. 

Information directly from the college as recent as 2019 can also be found on its website. At the moment, reports date as far back as the fiscal year ending on May 31, 2005.

Being an informed student at your institution is just as important as the degree you are pursuing. Each student is delivered a tuition bill of around $10,000 per semester to attend Utica College, which does not take into account living expenses and fees.

“I feel it is important for students to be informed about the sources and uses of college funds,” Comptroller and Assistant Treasurer Ann McGowan said. “Transparency is an important element for our institution and we welcome feedback and discussion. When students are well informed, they are able to meaningfully contribute to this conversation. The college actively involves students in the budget process, and it is always insightful.”

Each student deserves the knowledge of where their money is being spent and what the college is doing to ensure the promises it makes during the admissions process. 

“Students absolutely need to be at the center of everything happening on their campus,” Senior and Student Government Association (SGA) President Peter Gaughan said. “A school’s only purpose should be serving its students and therefore they must be involved in all its decision making and aware of all its commitments. Students should know where their resources are being expedited, where their school is invested, and what their school is prioritizing.”

The Tangerine’s main objective is to amplify student voices at Utica College. This is yet another tool in the arsenal that can help you make important decisions and lead conversations that keep the college moving forward.