Why this is important.

The cost of higher education is a growing concern. While students struggle to pay ever-increasing tuition bills, lawmakers and key stakeholders raise pointed questions about the return on investment of a college degree and the efficiency of taxpayer funding of colleges and universities and student aid.

Trustees are vital to addressing this financial sustainability and affordability crisis and must lead efforts to redesign the business model of higher education. The creation of a more equitable business model not only promotes institutional vitality but advances national readiness and progress, and provides a robust return on public and individual investment in higher education.

Sources: Tuition and Financial Aid: Nine Points for Boards to Consider In Keeping College Affordable, by AGB 2011
Top Public Policy Issues for Higher Education, 2021–2022, AGB 2021

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Board Processes

Consequential Questions:

  1. How does our institution keep college affordable?
  2. When we raise tuition, how much new net revenue do we generate?
  3. If the first two years at a public college become free in our state, what might it mean for our institution? What would it mean for student recruitment, retention, and attainment efforts?

Sources: Tuition and Financial Aid: Nine Points for Boards to Consider In Keeping College Affordable, by AGB 2011
Top Public Policy Issues for Higher Education, 2021–2022, AGB 2021

Board Discussions

Consequential Questions:

  1. Is our institution committed to providing enough campus-based financial aid so that low-income and moderate-income students do not have to accrue a large amount of debt to graduate?
  2. To what extent are we using institutional financial aid to attract students from other parts of the world? Or are we relying on international students solely to help generate more revenue?
  3. What are the major cost pressures at our institution?
  4. What is the percentage and number of Pell recipients at our institution?

Sources: Tuition and Financial Aid: Nine Points for Boards to Consider In Keeping College Affordable, by AGB 2011
Top Public Policy Issues for Higher Education, 2021–2022, AGB 2021

Student Success

Consequential Questions:

  1. How do tuition and fees at our institution compare with the national average for our sector?
  2. How many students at our institution pay the full sticker prices without a discount?
  3. How many of our students borrow to help finance their education? What is the average debt level at graduation?

Sources: Tuition and Financial Aid: Nine Points for Boards to Consider In Keeping College Affordable, by AGB 2011
Top Public Policy Issues for Higher Education, 2021–2022, AGB 2021

All resources.