Determining Institutional Financial Aid Policies

One of the most important functions of a governing board is to ensure the institution’s financial health allows it to carry out its mission. Campus-based financial aid has become one of the largest expenditures for many colleges and universities.

AGB provided Looking Under the Hood as a diagnostic tool for governing boards, chief executives, and chief business officers seeking to review their institutional-aid policy. Using more than 30 student-aid metrics, Looking Under the Hood allowed institutions to view and benchmark their policies against a set of peers.

The tool and its metrics allowed users to understand, analyze, and act by addressing such questions as:

  • Are institutional-aid policies consistent with the mission and values of our institution?
  • Is institutional aid being delivered to the types of students we most want to see on our campus?
  • Is aid ultimately going to students who succeed (i.e., do students who receive our grants graduate)?

AGB believes Looking Under the Hood informed and improved decision-making and allowed users to approach these important policies strategically to maximize scarce resources.

Looking Under the Hood was developed in collaboration with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and is supported by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

This three-year project began in 2012 and a public tool with an initial data set was launched in 2014. Additional datasets were added in 2015, 2016, and 2017. For most schools, the tool includes data for academic years 2009-10 through 2014-15, with limited new data added for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Looking Under the Hood was developed in collaboration with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and is supported by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.