The Finance Conundrum for Higher Education
In this chapter we identify and describe a number of the most challenging conundrums in higher education finance and provide institutional researchers with conceptual lenses, research summaries, and data sources to help navigate these challenges. Our goal is to widen the higher education finance conversation beyond price and into other fundamental areas related to the underlying cost of delivering higher education, including a review of how taxpayers and philanthropists subsidize those costs. Institutional researchers are not expected to be financial accountants, so the purpose of this chapter is not to discuss business office functions or accounting standards used in higher education finance. Similarly, this chapter is not an overview of financial management strategies. After reading this chapter institutional researchers will be even more equipped to engage campus leaders and policymakers with strategies to respond to affordability challenges in creative and effective ways.
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