Category Archives: Getting and Spending


Moody’s Issues Negative Outlook for Higher Education

On the heels of a similarly downcast assessment by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service has issued a negative outlook for the higher-education sector in the United States. The credit-rating agency also issued individual reports on median benchmarks for the finances of public and nonprofit private colleges, noting significant tuition-revenue declines at both types of institutions.

While American higher education faces limited growth prospects over the next 12 to 18 months, Moody’s says, p…


Are Colleges Ready to Adjust to a New Higher-Education Landscape?

Moody’s Investors Service on Friday released a report with grim news, particularly for public institutions: In a survey, 28 percent of public institutions, compared with 15 percent the year before, said they expected declines in their net-tuition revenue, increasingly the lifeblood of many institutions. For private institutions, the news was not quite as dire. Nineteen percent expected declines, compared with 18 percent last year, but that finding should come with a caveat: The Moody’s survey in…


Declines in Colleges’ Net-Tuition Revenue Deepen, Survey Finds

The nation’s feeble economic recovery is contributing to an increasingly bleak economic forecast for its colleges, according to a new report.

The results of an annual tuition survey released on Friday by Moody’s Investors Service, a bond-rating company, offered grim news. Of the 114 respondents among four-year public universities, 28 percent said they expected declines in net tuition for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years, and 44 percent reported that their net-tuition revenue increases would not …


Diversity Aside, International Students Bring a Financial Incentive

As college campuses face financial uncertainty and tough enrollment seasons, it’s no secret that attracting more international students can yield benefits beyond the intangibles, like a more diverse student body.

A recent Chronicle survey of 436 small private institutions and state universities shows that colleges that enrolled more international students also were more likely to meet enrollment and net-tuition-revenue goals.

For example, among the private institutions in the survey that met or …


Spending Rules for Endowments Change More Often Than Thought

The spending strategies applied to universities’ endowment funds change more frequently than previously thought, according to a new report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

According to the report, about half of the 800 endowment funds examined in a study altered their spending rules from 2003 to 2011. The finding runs contrary to existing models, which conclude that the policies should remain largely unchanged over time. In addition, the report states that about 25 percent …


Harvard U. Announces a $6.5-Billion Campaign

Harvard University announced on Saturday that it had begun a new campaign to raise $6.5-billion by 2018.

Money gathered by the Harvard Campaign will go to support a broad spectrum of activities at the university, with about 45 percent of the money earmarked for teaching and research, about 25 percent for financial aid and other student-oriented expenditures, and about 20 percent for construction projects, including an expansion of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and work on Harvar…


Adrian College Promises to Pay Student Loans for Some Graduates

A small private college in Michigan is trying to ease the cost concerns of prospective students with a guarantee that they won’t graduate overburdened with student-loan debt. Starting next year, Adrian College will guarantee incoming students that if, upon graduation, they are employed and earning less than $37,500 a year, the college will make some or all of their student-loan payments.

The plan calls for Adrian graduates who earn less than $20,000 a year after graduation to have all of their s…


College Foundations Aim Higher, but Performance Stays Almost Flat

Another day, another set of data sketching the continuing financial doldrums of higher education, this time regarding the performance of college foundations.

In its annual survey of 88 institutionally related foundations, released on Tuesday, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education found that 63.6 percent of respondents had experienced a drop in the value of their endowments in the 2012 fiscal year. The median decrease in value was 1.6 percent. Among the 31.8 percent of institutions…


Despite Wariness, Outsourcing Pays Off for Universities

Indianapolis — Colleges have moved far beyond hiring private companies just to run their dining services or manage the campus bookstore. In June 2012, for example, Ohio State University signed a $483-million deal to lease its parking facilities to an Australian company for 50 years.

Although there was an outcry from some faculty members, the money added about 20 percent to the value of Ohio State’s endowment, said Michael Papadakis, the university’s vice president for financial services. Mr. Pap…


Charging Tuition Could Put Cooper Union’s Tax Breaks at Risk

41 Cooper Square, a $166-million piece of “starchitecture” at Cooper Union, has become a symbol of the college’s ambitions and financial missteps. (Chronicle photograph by Scott Carlson)

[Updated (7/8/2013, 7:03 p.m.) with comment from Cooper Union.]

Cooper Union’s recent decision to start charging tuition to undergraduates certainly caused an uproar among students and alumni, who saw the move as defying the intentions of the New York City college’s founder, the industrialist and philanthropist …