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NACUBO Research Projects

NACUBO routinely publishes a variety of reports on college and university endowments, tuition discounting, student financial services, and other higher education business and finance issues.

Recently Released Projects

  • 2015 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study (TDS): This study was released in May 2016. The recent report summarizes the tuition discount rates and other measures of institutional grant spending at private nonprofit colleges and universities in 2015-16, as of the fall of 2015. A press release about the TDS is available from the NACUBO Press Room. Additional information is also available from NACUBO's Tuition Discounting Study page.
  • 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE): Recognized as the definitive resource on higher education investments, the NCSE is the most comprehensive endowment performance compendium available. The NCSE offers more than 50 data tables on investment performance, asset allocation, additions to and withdrawals from the investment pools, effective spending rates and spending polices, and investment management policies, practices, and strategies. The 2016 NCSE represents 805 college and university endowments totaling more than $515 billion in assets. The Press Release has summary information about the 2016 NCSE.  More information is available from the NCSE Study page
  • 2016 NACUBO Student Financial Services (SFS) Benchmarking Report: The Student Financial Services Benchmarking Survey examines student financial services operations at a variety of institutions. The 2016 report provides data for fiscal year 2015, and includes data on: unpaid student balances; student accounts in collections; student payment channels; refund payment methods; third-party billing; student financial services staffing; and financial services operating budget per FTE student. The SFS Benchmarking Initiative web page has more information. 
  • 2016 Student Financial Services Policies and Procedures Report: The NACUBO Student Financial Services Policies and Procedures report a supplement to the SFS Benchmarking Report, summarizes data on a wide range of college and university financial service issues. The information collected provide insights into the activities, systems, and practices from NACUBO-member institutions from across the country. The review of tuition structures, collections procedures, financial literacy programs, as well as many other facets of the student financial services framework is meant to aid policy makers within academic institutions in shaping business practices that more effectively meet the needs of schools and students alike. A Press Release highlights the findings of the study. Plesae go the NACUBO Online Research Products page to order a copy of this report. 
  • The 2016 National Profile of Higher Education Chief Business/Financial Officers: The CFO/CBO National Profile report, supported by TIAA, provides information on CFOs' career paths, levels of job satisfaction, and plans for future career advancement, as well as demograhic and other information. Go the the 2016 NACUBO CBO/CFO National Profile Products Page for more details about the CBO/CFO National Profile.
  • AGB/NACUBO Looking Under the Hood Institutional Aid Metrics Project:  With funding from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and additiional support from The College Board, NACUBO and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges launched the Looking Under the Hood Institutional Aid Metrics Project in 2012. The key component of the project is the development of a set of institutional grant aid metrics that enable higher education CBOs, presidents, and board members to examine their current institutional grant aid allocations and policies, and to better plan their future institutional aid decisions. These metrics are designed to help leaders gain a greater understanding of the impact of their institutional aid policies and practices. Examples of metrics include: total institutional grant aid per full-time equivalent student; percentage of institutional grant dollars awarded based on students' demonstrated financial need; and total institutional grant expenditures as a share of total institutional operating expenses. A summary of the project is available from AGB's Trusteeship Magazine. AGB and NACUBO have issued a comprehensive summary report about the project to the Woodruff Foundation. The Looking Under the Hood Project page contains additinoal information.


Ken Redd
Director, Research and Policy Analysis