ACSA 2018-19 Budget and Enrollment Survey Results

November 2018


This year’s Budget and Enrollment Survey reflects budget, applications, enrollment, and academic staffing changes at 77 schools, comprising just over 50% of ACSA’s US and Canadian member institutions. The survey is conducted annually and this report includes data collection dating as far back as the 2010-11 academic year. The purpose of this report is (1) to provide a cross-section of information regarding the current status of funding and admissions at architecture schools and (2) identify any ongoing trends survey results may suggest.

An exploration of the budget and enrollment sections are provided below. Stay tuned for additional findings.

Part 1: Architecture Program Budgets

Changes in total budgets at architecture schools saw an upward shift from last year to this year. As shown, total budgets at schools have increased on the whole and projections for the 2019 fiscal year show a significant reduction in the percent of budget decreases. Last year, 35% of schools reported no change, the highest it has been as documented by this survey.  This year, however, 35% of schools are reporting an increase of 1% to 6%.

Most schools continue to report no changes in their travel budgets as illustrated over the past six consecutive years. However, there appears to be more movement in the percent of schools that reported either an increase or a decrease. Projections for the 2019-20 school year are expected to mimic the 2017-18 school year with an increase in schools reporting no change.  

Similar to travel budgets, discretionary budgets also report a slight uptick in the percent of schools seeing both increases and decreases.  Overall these little movements suggest stability in architecture program budgets as indicated by the past 3 years. 

Part 2: Architecture Program Enrollments

In alignment with last year's data, the most salient point is the repeated increase in enrollment and applications for pre-professional programs.  Preprofessional degree programs often show the most correspondence between applications and enrollment as compared to the other degree programs found in architectural education, i.e. B.Arch and M.Arch/D.Arch. Schools reporting a decrease in applications or enrollment comprised only 27% and 21% of schools respectively.

 Enrollment for B.Arch programs appears to have increased from last year's report with less than 1% of schools reporting a decrease in both applications and enrollment.  More specifically, the majority of schools reported an increase in applications.

Contrary to last year’s findings at the the M.Arch/D.Arch level, respondents showed less congruence between applications and enrollment with just over half (55%) of schools reporting a decrease in applications and 45% of schools reporting a decrease in enrollment when compared to the previous year.

This year, ACSA investigated schools serving large populations of Asian, Black, Hispanic and/or Pacific Islanders, also known as Minority Serving Institutions. MSIs, as they are commonly called, were found to have a stronger relationship between applications and enrollment than PWIs, also known as Predominately White Institutions, in Preprofessional and M.Arch programs, which nods to the changing face of architectural education.

Part 3: Other Survey Findings

When examining this year's data on current trends in faculty dynamics, this year's report shows stability for full-time faculty. The most notable finding is the percent of schools reporting a reduction of full-time faculty. Since it's 2010 high of approximately 37% this metric has hit a record low of just over 1%.  Additionally, our research indicates that more schools are adding full-time faculty and reporting no change from last year. fewer schools are seeing a reduction of full-time and part-time faculty than in the previous year. Schools also reported that there is a slight increase in faculty loads.

ACSA would like to thank all of the schools that shared their data in regards to budget, enrollment, applications and academic staffing. School participation is integral in our quest to provide a full and accurate picture of these dynamics across architecture schools. For questions and comments about this report, contact Kendall Nicholson, Director of Research + Information.

Return to ACSA's Budget and Enrollment Survey page or Data Resources.