NACU Research Identifies Strategies for Better Institutional Financial Health

May 18

Colleges and universities face changing demographics along with rising expenses and a resistance to tuition increases. A new research report, “Benchmarks for efficiency and sustainability: A research study on the cost of delivery,” from the New American Colleges and Universities (NACU), supported by funding from the TIAA Institute, examined several factors, including leadership decisions, that have the potential to affect an institution’s financial health. Download the report here.

“We wanted to see if there were common strategies among campuses that are recognizing improved return-on-investment and other financial health indicators as these findings can help institutions with their decision-making,” said Sean Creighton, NACU president who co-authored the study.

NACU, a consortium of more than 20 small to mid-sized independent institutions, was a natural fit for this research as its campuses, which do not directly compete with each other, have shared benchmarking data for more than 25 years. Nick LaMendola of Nazareth College, Avo Kechichian of the University of La Verne, and Creighton documented several examples of NACU institutions that consistently increased their annual return on investment.

“NACU campuses have a culture of openness around data sharing and discussion in a collegial environment. Our hope is that these findings can help all institutions strengthen their business models because ultimately that benefits the students and communities that campuses serve,” said Creighton.

About TIAA Institute

The TIAA Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The Institute conducts in depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders, and enables those it serves to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success.