The Wall Street Journal and The Economist recently treated us to dueling perspectives on the value of higher education. The Wall Street Journal reported on a recent poll (in conjunction with NORC) revealing that 56% of Americans think a 4-year college degree is a bad bet—as recently as 2013, 53% had positive perceptions. The Economist retorted that this is not true for the average college graduate citing two perspectives which suggest that the return on the 4-year college degree remains strong. Who’s right? I suspect they both are. The key, like the devil, is in the details.
Strategic Positioning for Institutional Viability
Articles in Series: 4 Articles | Last Article Published: May 18, 2021
In this series, we will be looking more closely at financial and programmatic models of higher education, presenting tools for understanding your institution’s performance through benchmarking, introducing concepts from financial analysis to help institutions analyze their mix of academic programs, looking at the challenges of introducing financial analysis techniques in academe, and looking at the concept of the institutional value proposition.
Strategic Transformations in Higher Education
Articles in Series: 2 Articles | Last Article Published: April 19th, 2021
The next several years will be very challenging. Institutions faced with fiscal and enrollment challenges should be taking action to reset business models by taking a hard look at program mixes and administrative efficiencies. Mergers and partnerships are also viable strategies to increase the viability of such institutions. Failure to address these challenges at their onset will make campus closures more commonplace.
How to Innovate Effectively Within Higher Ed IT
Published on | Written by Nuno Couto
The last three years have inflicted unprecedented costs on American higher education institutions, resulting in campus closures, refunded student fees, and a rapid shift to online learning—all as declining state support continues to undermine budgets. According to a GatherContent study, most universities are still grappling with legacy technologies while consolidating data across multiple silos. These trends have continued to worsen issues that existed in higher ed prior to 2020, turning cracks into chasms and leaving challenged colleges and universities with the daunting task of using technology to help effectively innovate and differentiate their institution’s value proposition.Continue Reading
Saving Millions of Dollars by a Thousand Cuts
Published on | Written by Eric Schnurer
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, higher education, particularly at public and/or smaller institutions, faced serious challenges, including declining enrollments, increased costs, expanding alternatives, and decreasing confidence in the value of investing in current higher education models. The pandemic and accompanying economic depression have only exacerbated these threats, striking at traditional colleges’ core operating model, making higher education less affordable for the record number of families sinking into economic distress, decimating state budgets and thereby threatening necessary continued public support for higher education institutions, all while further driving families and individuals toward alternative service-delivery models and providers.Continue Reading
How to Evaluate the Potential of New Programs
Published on | Written by Lloyd Russow
It can be difficult to develop budgets for new programs that reflect actual revenues and expenses due to the complexities of including retention rates, discounting and how students progress through a program. Optimal will describe a self-contained tool that can be used to build a five-year pro forma budget.Continue Reading