Tuition management and fiscal responsibility in higher education
Miller, James Lee
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis was a study of the need for North Central College (NCC) to establish and implement a cost guarantee plan. Once the thesis question was defined, the study was divided into three parts: an overview of NCC today; current trends in higher education; and a data research section. The need for a cost guarantee plan based on the present condition of higher education and the need for administrators to creatively plan tuition management programs, was established in Part I through a historical look at NCC and exploring the need for a cost guarantee plan. Environmental assumptions, demographic trends, economic trends, the mission of the College, and why tuition management may be an answer for recruiting and retention problems were all examined. The conclusion was that there was sufficient evidence to support a study into the need for a guarantee cost plan at NCC. In Part II, current trends in higher education today were described. In an overview, what other colleges and universities across the country were doing to combat decreasing traditional-aged undergraduate enrollments was reported. Innovative programs and different types of tuition guarantee programs were examined in order to see if like institutions were providing such programs. The Office of Admission and student retention was examined to gain an understanding of what type of student NCC brought in and how many chose to remain enrolled over the course of four years. The last area of Part II turned out to be critical. The role financial aid policies play in recruiting and retaining students became extremely important. Determining a financial aid budget and maximizing tuition revenue is critical for the financial well-being of NCC, and similar tuition-driven schools. The study showed that financial aid policy is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspects to recruiting and retaining good students. Part III involved data research. The analysis of different cost guarantee plans and the role endowment, operating costs and revenues play in tuition management was examined. Endowment turned out to be the biggest detriment to employing a cost guarantee plan at NCC. NCC simply does not currently have adequate resources to implement such a plan. The research suggests that the financial problem NCC faces are likely to be generalizable to similarly endowed, tuition- driven, private schools.