President Alison Byerly’s “Strategic Direction for Lafayette College” was approved by the Faculty and adopted by the Board of Trustees in February 2016.

Realizing this vision will position Lafayette among the nation’s finest colleges by ensuring that the education we offer is:

  • Affordable for outstanding applicants, regardless of their financial means
  • Enriched by a vibrant community in which students learn with and from peers of diverse backgrounds and interests
  • Provided by a stellar faculty who offer a distinctive integration of arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering

Rationale

Interest in a Lafayette education is at an all-time high. But as the cost of a high quality education rises faster than wages, it is becoming impossible for low-income students—and harder for middle-income ones—to afford Lafayette. As a result, every year we are forced to turn down more and more outstanding applicants who cannot pay the expenses.

The very best liberal arts colleges are able to admit the very best students, without considering their ability to pay. Doing so sustains and even improves the quality of the student body and diversifies it at the same time. Living and learning with people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences is at the heart of a residential liberal arts education.

Increasing the size of the student body will allow us to both admit more of the talented applicants we are currently losing, as well as to grow the faculty, bringing exciting teachers and scholars in traditional fields and in emerging areas of study that transcend traditional disciplines.

This is the moment for Lafayette to stake our claim as one of the nation’s best.

Vision

We will secure Lafayette’s position among the nation’s finest colleges by:

Affordability

  • Providing access to a Lafayette education for talented students regardless of family finances
  • Elevating the College’s reputation by attracting the most outstanding students
  • Enriching the learning experience for all through a diverse and inclusive community

Distinction

  • Reinforcing the impact of outstanding faculty working closely with students
  • Highlighting our innovative liberal arts and engineering curricula
  • Strengthening integration of academics and student life

“We are building on Lafayette’s greatest strength—its people— to ensure the College’s success and prominence in the future.”

—President Alison R. Byerly

Path to Success

We will expand and deepen our community, creating the resources and infrastructure necessary to attract the best scholars and students to our residential learning environment.

Funding affordability

  • Increase the student body by about 50 students per year over eight years, providing additional revenue that can be devoted to financial aid.
  • Set aside 1 percent of any tuition increase to directly fund more financial aid. • Begin reallocating a portion of merit-based aid to need-based aid.
  • Raise the financial aid goal within the ongoing Live Connected, Lead Change campaign, including the issuing of a President’s Challenge for Financial Aid that will extend beyond the current campaign.

Enhancing distinction

  • Recruit 40 new faculty over an eight-year period.
  • Include in this recruitment scholars who deepen existing disciplines as well as those who work in emerging fields or areas that transcend traditional academic boundaries.
  • Use this opportunity to focus on increasing faculty diversity, including the hiring of women in the sciences, engineering and mathematics, and faculty of color across all academic disciplines.

Managing growth

  • Create housing for 400 additional students, with facilities that will include ground-level retail options available to residents of the broader community.
  • Construct a $75 million signature academic building—the Integrated Sciences Center—and renovate existing classrooms and other academic facilities.
  • Relocate some functions such as communications, facilities and information technology to spaces on the edge of campus and in downtown Easton, freeing up expansion space in the center of the campus for core academic activities.

Implementation Timeline

We will expand and deepen our community, creating the resources and infrastructure necessary to attract the best scholars and students to our residential learning environment. We will expand and deepen our community, creating the resources and infrastructure necessary to attract the best scholars and students to our residential learning environment.