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Articles: Revenues

Shirley Mullen is president of Houghton College (N.Y.).

Higher education is in the dock in 2014. The questions are flying:

Why does it cost so much? Why does it cost more each year?

Why do so many students not finish? Why can’t they get good jobs? Why is it not equally accessible to all?

Why is it not doing a better job training teachers for K12?

What do we have to show for the trillion dollars in student loan debt? Who will repay it?

There’s value in treating noncredit courses as more than just an add-on to degree programs.

Georgetown University officials had a bit of an epiphany recently about the impact of their noncredit courses. While the offerings had been around since the 1990s, administrators hadn’t realized the big benefits they could bring to the institution.

William M. Courson is president of Lancaster Pollard Investment Advisory Group.

Monetary policy in the United States took a dramatic turn with the introduction of quantitative easing after the financial crisis of 2008.

Although it achieved its primary objective by forcing down long-term interest rates, it also increased the supply of money in the economy, which has contributed to inflationary pressures in the past.

While we are fortunate to have witnessed a lengthy and very low inflationary environment, as money supply increases, the probability of higher inflation also increases.

42 states increased higher education funding in the past year by an average of $449, or 7.2 percent, per student. Yet, per-student funding still remains below pre-recession levels in 48 states

As the long-lasting effects of the Great Recession slowly fade, most states have begun rescinding cuts made to public higher education since 2008. 

Eight states, however, have continued reducing funds, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Those that continued to cut per-student funding in the past year are:

Exploring the shore: Roger Williams University has found a new source of revenue in tapping its scenic waterfront campus to  expand its once tiny summer programs. (Photo: Peter Silvia)<p>

Five years after the Great Recession’s official end, higher ed endowments and fundraising are finally recovering, but there is no rising financial tide that’s lifting all boats—especially smaller ones that depend heavily on tuition.

Along with enrollment, public funding and debt, providing health care to employees will be among the top financial pressures on higher education in the coming years, say several campus administrators.

Here’s how proposed increases in some states compare to 2013-2014 budgets (and budgets of the recent past).

After years of budget cuts, some states are finally putting money back into higher education for FY2015. 

The University of Puget Sound has received a series of bitcoin donations.

The University of Puget Sound in February became the first higher ed institution to accept a gift of digital currency, when alumnus Nicolas Cary gave the Washington school 14.5 bitcoins—equal to $10,000.

Jeffrey G. Eisenbarth is vice president for business and finance as well as treasurer for Rollins College.

Central Florida is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, so it makes sense that hospitality enterprises can be counted on to provide a financial boost—even to higher education institutions.

Part-time students and their needs need not get lost when continuing education gets decentralized. Fairfield U reaches out to its part-timers, many of whom have young children, with events such as the Halloween-themed “Night at the Museum,” held this fall on campus at the Bellarmine Art Museum.

With funding cuts, falling enrollments and increased competition from MOOCs and other low-cost online programs, higher education has been under enormous pressure in recent years. But pressure often leads to positive change, and many schools are looking at continuing education as an ideal area for that change.

Construction budgeting software allows Southern Methodist U to maintain a digital record of projects and ensure future projects have adequate funding for site development and other line items.

A Midwestern state university budgeted about $12 million for a major addition to its library several years ago. At the time, there was not a tightly controlled project planning process at the institution and the library’s plaza—already a major central gathering space on campus—was not included in the project budget.

Sidewalks weren't part of the construction project budget for the Hurvis Center at Lawrence U, but that piece was still planned ahead, through a local landscaper.

In some cases, colleges and universities will opt to fund some site development items, such as landscaping, as an operational cost instead of a capital cost.

But the decision depends on owner needs and should still be made in advance, during the budgeting process for the entire project. Here’s how two institutions have approached the decision:

Source: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; 2012 data/Graphic by Edie Sutton

Despite what many working for higher education institutions may believe, the campus is a common setting for fraud. In fact, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ latest “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” identified education as one of the top five industries for reported cases of occupational fraud.

The accompanying graphic shows what kinds of losses campuses are experiencing and who is committing—or is likely to commit—these crimes.

Education is now one of the top five industries for reported cases of occupational fraud.

What do a private liberal arts college, a public community college and a high-ranking national university all have in common? Each recently reported six-figure occupational fraud losses.

Oregon State is one of three universities to be governed by an independent board.

In a climate of declining state funding, Oregon higher ed policy leaders needed to bring in more resources while taking some of the burden off students. That’s why three of the state’s universities are breaking off from the Oregon University System. Effective July 1, Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon will have their own boards.