The story of a generation drowning in debt is misleading for a number of reasons. This report looks at the landscape of student debt in the U.S. as well as trends and innovative approaches in private funding of higher education.
Foundations & Nonprofits
Over the past decade, foundations and other entities awarding higher education grants have shifted their focus toward programs that encourage student retention and graduation, particularly for low-income and first-generation college students.
Can a university’s characteristics be a better indicator of an endowment’s effectiveness than endowment size?
This report examines the 403(b) plans in all 50 states and seeks to provide the first comprehensive analysis of these plans across the country. We consider the advantages and disadvantages of alternative methods of regulating 403(b) plans and present an assessment of 403(b) plans in each state.
The disclosure requirements under General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 45 draw attention to a possible unfunded liability for government employers providing other than pension post-retirement benefits (OPEB). While these liabilities are far less than pension plan liabilities, they are still substantial. A recent white paper reported that the unfunded OPEB liability for the Florida school districts was in excess of $3.5 billion.
In the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession, many individuals are worried about their short-term and long-run financial security. In the nonprofit and philanthropic sector (hereafter referred to as “the sector”), there is speculation that such concerns among its workers are undermining the sector’s ability to attract and retain the new talent required to be successful, while simultaneously preventing senior leaders and older employees from retiring.
Hospital workers are more likely than U.S. workers to be saving for retirement; 88% versus 59%, respectively. But only 48% of savers in the hospital sector have calculated how much they need to accumulate and only 22% are very confident that they are investing their retirement savings appropriately. Debt clearly hinders retirement preparations—89% of hospital workers with a major debt problem consider themselves behind in their planning and saving for retirement compared with 37% of those without a debt problem.
Compared with U.S. workers in general, employees in the primary and secondary education sector tend to be more confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. Greater confidence among K-12 employees results, at least in part, from higher participation rates in retirement plans at work. Individuals in the K-12 workforce are also more likely to be retirement savers. Nonetheless, 56% of all K-12 employees consider themselves behind schedule in planning and saving for retirement.
This paper summarizes a survey of university endowment funds, with a particular focus on the composition of endowment investment committees and how this composition is associated with a number of key activities. In general, we find that the typical investment committee member has financial credentials of some form and has experience as an executive or serving on other boards. We also find that most investment committee members are themselves donors to the university.