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Bucking the Trend – Pine Manor College Financially Stable and Accredited

[Chestnut Hill, MA, March 12, 2018] The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education voted to maintain accreditation for Pine Manor College, following an intensive review process, positioning the College to continue to capitalize on the many opportunities to better serve its students. Pine Manor College has been a continuously accredited college since 1939.

“We are succeeding on all fronts,” says College President Thomas M. O’Reilly. “The graduation rate is up. Enrollment is up. The College is generating operating surpluses. Our graduates are going on to advanced studies or full-time employment. This fall and winter, we also won athletic conference championships in soccer and basketball. We have experienced overwhelming support from our alumnae/i and mission-aligned friends, and our fundraising efforts have been strong. We are proud of these achievements and pleased that the regional accreditation organization has taken note of these accomplishments.”

This turning point builds on a history of meeting the needs of a traditionally underserved population. Roughly 85% of Pine Manor College’s student body is represented by students of color. Eighty-four percent of students are the first in their families to attend college. Eighty percent are low-income, and 50% multi-lingual. Pine Manor College’s graduation rate for this demographic is roughly 4X’s the national average with 100% of its graduates securing employment or going on to pursue advanced learning within six months of graduation.

The accreditation review consisted of an extensive 200+ page report detailing financial performance and stability, organization and governance, student support and outcomes, mission and purpose, as well as an audit by a five-person on-site visiting committee, and a twenty-one-person commission review of all findings. A key to earning this vote of confidence was the College’s remarkable financial performance. The College has built a strong, sustainable financial model that generated operating surpluses in each of the last two fiscal years, following more than fifteen years of operating losses. The college is targeted to generate an operating surplus again this current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2018), and will provide financial reporting as it heads to that goal and beyond.

With the support of many in our community, and despite a national trend against small liberal arts colleges, Pine Manor College has found a pathway forward both academically and financially. Part of the solution was to recognize non-tuition opportunities to create revenue. “With 40% of our revenue coming from a consistent flow of non-tuition-based sources, we operate in the black and deliver superior services to our students,” says O’Reilly.

O’Reilly credits a strategic repositioning of program implementation to ensure the College continues to meet the needs of its students. The president also credits the work of the board of trustees and the faculty and staff in this change. “What happened? We got really intentional about what we believe in and are committed to doing,” O’Reilly says. “We are serving an incredibly important group of young people and we are succeeding. We meet our students where they are and make sure that everything we do is about them. We call it Educating with Purpose.”


For more on Pine Manor College contact Efrat Zinnar-Shavit, Director of Media and Publications, at 617-731-7163 or

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