Financial Sustainability

New strategies, models and technologies

While the cost of providing higher education continues to increase, traditional sources of revenue—such as state funding, tuition, and endowments­—are decreasing, forcing leaders in higher ed to find new ways to remain viable. By employing new strategies, business models and technologies, and finding smarter ways to use available data, these leaders are fostering a climate of creativity and innovation, reshaping the way colleges and universities can sustain themselves.

Want to learn more about our higher education insights? Download our 2018 TIAA Institute Higher Education Thought Leadership Annotated Bibliography.

TIAA Institute Reports

Original research produced by the TIAA Institute—both independently and in collaboration with noted scholars—examines topics of interest to the academic, nonprofit and public sectors. The reports combine statistical findings with thoughtful, data-driven observations and conclusions to provide in-depth analyses that are informative and appropriate for both technical and general audiences.

August 2017

Each time a liberal arts college closes its doors, commentators predict the imminent demise of small private institutions. But does the data back up this belief?

October 2016

Performance funding applies financial incentives to higher education, tying a portion of public institutions’ state appropriations to retention rate, degree completion and other student outcomes.

October 2016

While reliance on part-time contingent faculty has helped constrain faculty compensation costs, it hasn’t produced the same level of savings in total compensation costs for all employees.

June 2016

To deliver a quality education in a budget-constrained environment, academic and financial decision makers must understand the activities, costs and margins associated with teaching at the course level.  

October 2013

Colleges and universities face daunting challenges to long-established business models. The cost of providing higher education continues to rise but sources of funding have eroded.

September 2010

Accreditations are third-party verifications of quality. At the extreme, accreditations can be gatekeepers—without the accreditation you cannot operate. Other accreditations are more or less voluntary depending on particular state policies.

December 2009

Higher education, like other sectors of the economy, continues to address the challenges posed by the recession.

February 2007

The topic of transformational change in higher education has become increasingly prevalent over recent years.

November 2006

For centuries, education has been valued as a means to critical thinking and scientific inquiry. Over time, additional benefits have become increasingly clear, and especially the economic benefits to individuals and society overall.