Higher education, like many other industries, is experiencing new levels of disruption. Despite enduring, cherished reputations, colleges and universities are business ventures that are vulnerable to supply and demand rules, nontraditional competition, the eccentricities of the financial markets, and demographic shifts. As these forces reshape higher education in small and dramatic ways, an advanced level of financial leadership and acumen is required, along with a willingness and commitment to bring increased rigor to financial planning and budgeting.

Based on Kaufman Hall’s 2017 Higher Education Survey results, this report examines the current challenges facing higher education finance professionals, and evaluates actions and practices that are influencing financial planning and budgeting. It concludes with recommended strategies to position colleges and universities for the future.