Essay on The Current Climate Of Higher Education Finances

Essay on The Current Climate Of Higher Education Finances

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The cost of college is one of the biggest discussions around higher education today. According to the National Center for Education Statistics current cost including tuition, room and board are $15,640 for public universities and $40,614 for private universities annually (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). These costs continue to climb year by year and between 2003 and 2013 the rate for undergraduate tuition has jumped 34 percent (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). As many states continue to cut funding from the education budgets, professionals must find new ways to generate income and be careful when allocating dollars to departments. This paper will discuss the current climate of higher education finances; discuss how cuts to student affairs funds impacts students and high impact practices (HIPs) and how auxiliary units that fall under student affairs can help fund other offices who do not receive enough money during the general fund allocation.
Current Climate
As universities are asked to do more with less, senior student affairs officials are cutting budgets to make due. In 2000, Georgetown University cut its student affairs budget by 10% or $900,00 (Sullivan & Rittman, 2000). The Georgetown Program Board who is in charge of major entertainment on campus lost almost $100,000 from its programming budget (Sullivan & Rittman, 2000). In 2010, Stanford University pledged to cut its budget by 15% for the fiscal year (Sullivan, 2010). To accomplish this the Vice Provost for Student Affairs terminated 11 employees and reduced all work schedules for employees who fell under the student affairs umbrella (Sullivan, 2010). A major initiate out of Stanford was to use 10-month contracts for student affairs professionals, where they wou...


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...ives than ever in the past. However, student affairs departments should not expect this increase to come for the general fund allocations. With the department already receiving less than one percent of the total general fund, I should not expect this percentage to increase in the future. Universities with auxiliary units who make a profit should push policy that allows the money to be shifted to departments who contribute to students HIPs, but don’t have the necessary funds to provide them at this time. Universities should also be more aware of the rising cost of tuition over the rate of inflation and try to cut tuition hikes as much as possible. Universities should also stop raising tuition simply to be in competition with other universities. If universities can curb cost in tuition and fees, students can use their own money to fund HIPs to benefit their education.

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