Feature

Subcategory of CFO News

Driving college loan defaults down

Outsourcing loan default prevention management to remove institutional burden and improve student services

The coming change in how student loan default rates are calculated may mean bad news for some colleges and universities.

With the new calculations, the rate at which a group of students later defaults on loan payments will increase for most institutions, and schools with a particular default rate for three consecutive years will lose the ability to give Pell Grants. That’s why many are seeing this as the ideal time to look at how default prevention services are managed.

Higher education's recession reinvention

New economic normal forcing smaller institutions to expand academic, business models

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.

Future paints mixed financial picture for higher ed

As loan debt increases, fundraising and endowments—but not state funding—are recovering

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.

Money missteps on campus

Student financial literacy efforts tackle the most common personal finance blunders

From managing loans to controlling spending, many college students find themselves dealing with a host of financial responsibilities for the very first time. And it’s not uncommon for them to trip up.

Campus financial literacy programs can help students steer clear of some of their most common financial mistakes. The challenge for educators is to find creative and clever ways to get their attention.

Missteps that make college costs skyrocket

Textbooks, failure to plan and poor time management can add to a student's expenses

As costly as tuition and textbooks can be, poor planning and time management can raise the prices even higher.

Richard O’Connor, director of financial aid at American International College in Massachusetts, says students at that institution have several options for saving on books. “About half of our students are low income, so just paying tuition can be challenging.”

Higher ed procurement co-ops branch out

How buying cooperatives decide which new categories to offer, and how institutions can benefit

When it became clear that the scientific equipment in hundreds of labs across the University of Pittsburgh campus was not being maintained effectively, professionals in the university procurement department began looking for a new provider to do the job.

The university had long relied on a purchasing cooperative to secure favorable contracts with vendors for bulk products such as office supplies. When administrators discovered that the cooperative had established an agreement with Specialty Underwriters (SU), a provider of equipment maintenance, their search was over.

Bid for savings: Reverse auctions

Real-time reverse auction events are helping institutions save on purchases—and making the procurement office an exciting place to be

Seconds tick by. Vendors submit bid after bid in real time, battling it out to win the business of the campus procurement office. The opposite of eBay, this reverse auction format results in the price going down with each bid.

Prepare to persuade

Helping mid- and senior-level campus administrators gain comfort and experience with fundraising

The University of Florida’s last fundraising campaign, completed in October 2012, surpassed its $1.5 billion goal and finished nine months ahead of schedule at $1.72 billion. Despite this tremendous success, the next campaign will deploy a new tactic—a fine-tuned army of the university’s leaders prepared and practiced in the strategies of fundraising.

Preserving construction site funds

How to keep the finishing touches in the budget on a building project

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.

Site development: Capital or operational cost?

Here’s how two institutions have approached the decision

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:

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