Educational Institutions

Educational institutions of all types – private, public, nonprofit, for-profit, large, small, liberal arts, technical, secondary, undergraduate, post-graduate – are being pressured today to provide high-quality and affordable programs, while at the same time struggling to cut costs and balance their budgets. This is increasingly difficult in an environment where demographic and cultural shifts are creating heighted competition, along with the rising acceptance of technology-enabled alternatives, such as virtual classrooms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s). Competition for financial support from public and private sources is also increasing in tandem with public demands for demonstrable value from these institutions.

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Unlike publicly-held businesses, which answer principally to shareholders, an educational institution has many other constituencies, including alumni, donors, its governing body, faculty, student body, its accrediting body, parents and even government agencies that may control research budgets. These groups can have competing – and not always compatible – agendas.

ABTV has experience and a successful track record with understanding these often-competing sets of concerns, working with institutions to improve efficiencies, raise revenues, enhance net income and deliver improved student outcomes. We provide objective advice backed up with data and a practical plan.

Educational Institution Services

Revenue Enhancement

  • Assess existing revenue generation initiatives and identify areas for incremental revenue including tuition pricing, student/auxiliary fees, optimal use of financial aid and improving student retention
  • Examine current capital/fundraising initiatives and develop a campaign to raise incremental unrestricted and restricted funds
  • Assess funding practices from endowments and grant/scholarship providers for opportunities to improve cash generation
  • Help evaluate potential partnership opportunities with other educational institutions or potential users of educational content

Operating Efficiencies

  • Assess existing cost savings initiatives and identify additional areas for cost reduction
  • Review key business processes, current expense structure and purchasing practices to identify profit improvement opportunities
  • Define the monthly operating breakeven level based upon the current and forecasted cost structure
  • Examine working capital management and identify alternatives for improved cash position
  • Optimize service/suppler agreements and outsourcing options, renegotiating existing agreements where merited
  • Rationalize real estate and other facility-related cost reductions

Finance and Administration

  • Evaluate and implement organizational realignment
  • Assess and implement cost saving measures in finance, human resources, information technology, corporate communications, marketing and fundraising departments
  • Review current forecasting and budgeting processes and help develop rigorous practices to improve short-term and long-term planning
  • Facilitate obtaining alternative financing, if needed
  • Identify and monitor key performance metrics, including the creation of a comprehensive dashboard
  • Provide interim senior leadership services to fill urgently needed positions

Academic

  • Review the rationale for providing current educational offerings (classes, majors, etc.)
  • Assess faculty productivity and staffing levels, including course loads, full-time/part-time optimization and student-teacher ratio improvement

Strategy

  • Evaluate the strategic position of the financial institution and the strength of its value proposition in the educational marketplace, and provide options for improvement
  • Assess the potential value of strategic acquisitions, mergers or partnerships
  • Assist with the integration of strategic mergers and other initiatives
  • Work with the institution’s governing Board on improvement initiatives and advise on governance issues, where appropriate