A Lesson in Costs

At NEBHE’s recent board meeting in Stowe, Vt., University of Vermont President Tom Sullivan gave a brief lesson on higher education cost drivers.

The top cost drivers, Sullivan said, at least at bricks-and-mortar institutions like his, are:

1) compensation of faculty and staff, including employee benefits;

2) student financial aid;

3) facilities of quality to attract students, including the amenities students want;

4) technology, including upgrades; and

5) government regulation, especially compliance with federal regs dealing with issues such as sexual assault and substance abuse.

NEBHE has been exploring higher ed costs and new operating models in its initiative supported by the Davis Educational Foundation and recently rebranded as the Higher Education Innovation Challenge (HEIC).


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