State: Wesley College Seeks Additional $3.2 Million from Delawar - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State: Wesley College Seeks Additional $3.2 Million from Delaware Higher Ed Fund

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Wesley College in Dover (Photo: WBOC) Wesley College in Dover (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- Weeks after Delaware gave Wesley College the second half of $2 million in funding, state officials say the small private college has requested an additional $3.2 million in taxpayer money for similar purposes.

Bert Scogletti, a spokesman for Delaware's Office of Management and Budget, said on Friday that Wesley College's new request also targets money available through the Higher Education Economic Development Investment Fund. A partial fulfillment of the school's previous ask in August for $2.2 million came from the same reserve.

In September, Scogletti said OMB was made to believe the $2 million being allocated for Wesley from the fund would be used to ensure the school would still qualify for federal aid.

"This request seems to be a continuation of those reasons," he said of Wesley's most recent funding request.

WBOC reached out to Wesley College President Robert Clark's office for comment on Friday but did not receive a response.

Clark has said Wesley College, like many similar private colleges across the country, struggles with financial concerns tied to declining enrollment and revenue. Because the school is a private college, its financial records are not openly available to the public.

Recently, Wesley College was placed on a heightened cash monitoring watch list by the U.S. Department of Education and has been subjected to increased scrutiny by the federal government over its finances.

If its latest funding request is completely fulfilled, Wesley will have received more than $5 million from the higher education investment fund during the current fiscal year. The college's request will also compete with requests from several other institutions that include the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, according to Scogletti.

State lawmakers also allowed the college to use more than $1 million in funding initially allocated for renovations of the Old Dover Library for operational purposes. The building was purchased as a potential home for the school's occupational therapy program, though the City of Dover sold the property to Wesley College based on an agreement that state lawmakers give the city more than $1 million in transportation funding through discretionary funds for road projects.

Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover South), a Wesley alumnus who has defended state funding for the school, said the state needs to support a college employs more than 500 people and has more than 1,000 enrolled students.

Bonini and other lawmakers in the past have also pointed to the fact that institutions like the University of Delaware receive significantly more funding than Wesley College has gotten from the state in recent years.

"I believe investing in Wesley makes good sense from both an economic and educational perspective," he said.

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