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.

Insights

Also produced by the TIAA Institute, Insights features reports addressing prominent issues in financial security, higher education, and philanthropy. While typically written for a primarily non-technical audience, Insights are prepared using the same level of academic rigor found in our other research publications, and can serve as valuable sources of information for a diverse group of readers.

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

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.

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.

Research 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 more academic audiences.

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.

November 2015

Despite the increasing role of 401(k) plans as retirement vehicles, little is known about how mutual fund families acting as 401(k) plan service providers influence the investment choices offered in their plan.

October 2015

While a number of published studies have measured how the number and mix of fund options influence investment patterns in retirement accounts few, if any, have examined how plan participants react to a large reduction in investment choices.