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Annual Comprehensive Financial Report

We are pleased to present the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for Bridgewater State University (BSU) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. The audit report conveys an unmodified opinion of the university’s financial statements.

BSU is committed to providing our students with access to world-class learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom at a cost they can afford through careful management of public resources and student funds. As a result of the university’s careful stewardship of fiscal resources, Bridgewater has been able to invest in initiatives and programs that advance our highest priority: student success.-->
Annual Comprehensive Financial Report cover 2023

Download BSU's Annual Comprehensive Financial Report

The audit report conveys an unmodified opinion of the university’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. The link below pertains to the most recent Annual Report.

Annual Financial Report 2022-2023 (pdf)
Several factors contributed to the continued strength of the university’s financial position, including:
  • Sound financial planning, budgeting and management;
  • Implementation of new and more effective recruitment strategies, including the shift to the Common Application, development of a new virtual tour, and an enhanced presence on Naviance (a high school college search platform), resulting in BSU achieving its largest incoming class in its history;
  • Development of new academic programs that are responding to critical needs in the marketplace, including BSU’s first engineering program in photonics/optical engineering and expanded offerings in the health sciences;
  • Implemented a highly successful Senior College offering 6-week seminars and courses for learners over 50 years old;
  •  Adoption and expansion of retention strategies targeting at-risk populations of students, including development and scaling-up of a highly successful Summer Bears program facilitating the transition to college for students with lower GPAs and personalized interventions designed to keep students who may otherwise have left the university (e.g., for holds on their accounts);
  • Making significant new investments in financial aid (local aid has increased by 33 percent since 2015) and hiring a new director of financial aid to more effectively deploy resources to enhance recruitment and retention;
  • Hiring of a new Chief Development Officer and restructuring of the alumni relations and development functions within the president’s office to strengthen alumni engagement and enhance giving in anticipation of launching a major capital campaign in 2020;
  • Fully aligning resources with university strategic priorities in the budgeting process

BSU’s financial position continues to be very strong. In FY23, the university realized an increase in its net position of $10 million, from $18.3 million in FY 22 to $28.3 million in FY23. This growth was attributable to increased state appropriations of 4.4% due to strong state tax collections coupled with effective university advocacy for more equitable funding; an increase in state grants of more than $2 million; increased auxiliary revenues from the resurgence in residence hall occupancy rates from a low during the pandemic of 38% in Fall 2020 to 83% in Fall 2021 and 92% in Fall 2022; and strong budget management across the entire university. The university’s primary reserve ratio of 43.18% (minus the effects of GASB 68 pension and GASB 75 OPEB requirements) continues to exceed industry benchmarks.


Enrollment remains the most significant challenge facing the university, reflecting declines in college-attendance rates as well as a projected decrease in the number of high school graduates. Although the number of high school graduates increased by 6% from 2012-2022, the number of these high school graduates attending college in-state fell 16.3% during this same period. The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on college enrollments that is still being felt because of the continued impact of small incoming classes in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021.

Despite these conditions, BSU has stabilized enrollment and is putting in place plans to return to an enrollment growth path. Although enrollment fell in Fall 2022 by 3.4%, registrations for Fall 2023 saw a slight increase of 0.3%. In 2023-2024, the university’s Enrollment Management Committee (which was reorganized in Fall 2022) will adopt a new Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP 2.0), with a focus on further diversifying our markets. With the impending “demographic cliff” – where the number of high school graduates is predicted to decline about 9% between 2025-2035, SEP 2.0 will include action plans for growing post-traditional, graduate, part-time, transfer and LGBTQIA+ enrollments. The university is also exploring options for growing our small population of international and Hispanic/Latinx students. 

In addition to diversifying markets and expanding market share for incoming students, BSU continues to be an innovative leader in the area of retention and closing institutional achievement gaps. BSU’s first-to-second year retention rate continues to exceed our peer institutions, and the university is expanding proven retention strategies, including its nationally recognized Student Navigator model and retention scholarships, targeting at-risk students. BSU was one of 11 universities nationwide selected by the Gardner Institute to participate in its Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience, which aims to reimagine the critical first two years of college education when students create the foundation for ultimate success and degree completion.

As COVID recedes, colleges and universities nationwide are facing a new mental health epidemic, with higher levels of anxiety, stress and depression among both students and employees. As a JED Foundation-designated campus, a new cross-divisional standing committee on Mental Health and Wellness will drive new approaches to meet the growing demand for mental health resources. 


Following a two-year, inclusive process, BSU has developed a five-year Strategic Plan 2.0, which will be approved by the state in early 2024. The plan establishes 11 strategic priorities that will enable the university to continue to thrive in the face of a challenging higher education environment characterized by increased competition for students and resources, public skepticism about the value of higher education, changing student demographics, shifting employee expectations, and unprecedented rates of technological, social, and political change. will guide the university moving forward. Those priorities include: innovation; a new work paradigm; mental health and wellness; racial justice and equity; physical facilities; capital campaign; affordability; BSU Works (workforce alignment); enrollment management; post-traditional learners; and Gateway Cities. 


BSU has received state approval for its B.S. in Cybersecurity and is now accepting students for admission into that program for Fall 2024. A new master’s degree in this field is under current Board of Higher Education review. There is extraordinary demand for this program and tens of thousands of open, high paying positions. The university is slated to open in February 2024 the most sophisticated cyber range in all of New England for training students (and municipalities, law enforcement, non-profits and private businesses) utilizing simulated cyberattacks. A future on-campus Security Operations Center will afford students the opportunity to work alongside cybersecurity professionals on actual threat detection and response. 


BSU continued to make major investments in deferred maintenance and capital improvements to the campus in 2022-2023. These included ongoing repairs and renovations made to Maxwell Library, Burnell Hall and Shea-Durgin residence hall; accessibility upgrades in Tillinghast and Hunt Halls; and construction of a new outdoor fitness court, among others. BSU also secured an additional $8 million from the state (on top of an initial $25 million investment) for the renovation of Burnell Hall as the home of the College of Education and Health Sciences. The BSU Foundation also secured a property at 21 Park Terrace that will become the future home of the College of Graduate Studies, aligning with growing focus on graduate recruitment in Strategic Enrollment Plan 2.0 


In 2022-2023, the university’s component units (BSU Foundation and Alumni Association) realized a net position increase of $6.7 million to $67.7 million. In FY23, BSU continued to make major strides towards the launch of its Without Exception capital campaign in June 2024, with the goal of increasing the university’s endowment to $100 million. Building the endowment will make possible strategic investments in student financial and other supports, BSU Works, scaling new programs that drive student educational access and success and advancing BSU’s leadership in diverse areas from cyberbullying and racial equity to STEM and civics education. There is no doubt that BSU’s star is rising. This past year demonstrates that we are prepared to deal head-on with any number of emerging challenges while continuing to seize opportunities to that position BSU for a future that we can control.


Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq. President