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Financial Aid

 
 

IN THE MEDIA, FINANCIAL aid coverage tends to focus on topics such as the tensions between funding merit scholarships versus need-based grants, the growth in student and parent borrowing, and the need to increase funding for Federal Pell Grants. Federal or state work-study programs get little focus.

Hardly a day goes by without a college announcing jobs, programs, or spending cuts. You would think with all the brainpower at our colleges and universities they would be able to come up with better solutions than lopping off people, sections and services to students. But they don’t seem to. Why not?

 
 

Over the last two years, tax-exempt colleges and universities have become targets of increased scrutiny by the Secretary of Education, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and the Senate Finance Committee. With the looming budget crisis and an ever-increasing deficit, regulators are taking a hard look at whether these institutions are providing the public benefits commensurate with the tax breaks they receive as a result of their tax-exempt status.

Today’s economic conditions are monopolizing discussions among leadership teams and boards of trustees at many colleges and universities. It is a nerve-wracking time, to say the least. Financial stresses now loom very large in pending decisions about enrollment, tuition increases, net revenue, financial aid policies, and discount rates.

Here are four immediate strategies to consider how to manage these challenges in ways that do not compromise an institution’s long-term strategy and sustainability:

 
 
 

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