2013 SFS Benchmarking Tool and Report Now Available
October 3, 2013
The percentage of students with unpaid balances continued to rise during FY 2012 (July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, at most institutions), according to NACUBO's 2013 Student Financial Services (SFS) Benchmarking Tool and Report. The annual report asks bursars and other financial services staff at U.S.-based two- and four-year public and private nonprofit colleges and universities to provide information on student account and loan receivables, payments and credit balance refunds, third-party payments, staffing, and expenditures for student financial services.
Since the report was first compiled for FY08, the percentage of students with unpaid balances has climbed from 23.9 percent to 31.7 percent in FY12. However, the dollar amount of unpaid balances as a percentage of the total amount invoiced has returned to previous levels and remains relatively low at 3.4 percent. Survey respondents also reported writing off a slightly higher percentage of institutional loans in FY12.
In addition, more institutions appear to be moving from onerous manual and lockbox payment channels to web-based payments. Schools still predominantly use paper checks to return credit balances to students, although a shift toward electronic payments and transfers is apparent.
SFS offices have reduced staff to the lowest average FTE in four years. Additionally, the number of FTE students per FTE SFS staff member has increased, and the SFS operating budget per FTE student has decreased. This indicates that fewer staff members are serving more students—and doing so with fewer financial resources—potentially demonstrating the emergence of a more efficient SFS office.
Obtain a Copy of the Report
In this fifth year of the SFS project, NACUBO received 380 valid responses; nearly 31 percent of these schools are first-time respondents. About 40 percent of the respondents have participated in the survey for three or more years. The overall survey results suggest substantial differences in student financial services operations, payment methods, and workloads, based on NACUBO constituent group.
To purchase the benchmarking report, visit the NACUBO website. The cost is $50.00 for members, $200.00 for nonmembers, and free for survey participants. The benchmarking tool is also available for NACUBO members who participated in the 2013 survey.
James D. Ward
- NACUBO Responds to White House College Affordability Plans
- Recommendations for Completing Form 1098-T
- Preliminary Results Show that College and University Endowments Returned 11.7 Percent in FY13
- 2014 Intermediate Accounting and Reporting - Winter
January 27-28, 2014
- 2014 Endowment and Debt Management Forum
February 5-7, 2014
- 2014 Facilities and Administrative Rates - Long Form
March 3-5, 2014
- WEBCAST: Developing a Market-Informed Approach to Tuition Pricing
Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:00 PM ET
- WEBCAST: How Behavioral Changes Helped Cut Energy Usage in Half
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 1:00 PM ET
- ON-DEMAND: Responsibility Center Management: The Process Necessary to Complete a Successful Implementation
- ON-DEMAND: OD: Responsibility Center Management: How Innovations Have Changed the Nature of RCM
- A Guide to College and University Budgeting: Foundations for Institutional Effectiveness, 4th ed. - by Larry Goldstein
- NACUBO's Guide to Unitizing Investment Pools - by Mary S. Wheeler
- Managing and Collecting Student Accounts and Loans - by David R. Glezerman and Dennis DeSantis