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Weathering Turbulent Times

Small College Guide to Financial Health: Weathering Turbulent Times

By Michael K. Townsley

This publication examines the financial and strategic resources that private colleges and universities must have in place to withstand the storm. Small college presidents, CFOs, planners, chief academic officers, and board members will find substantive guidance on analyzing financial condition, reshaping strategy, and implementing best practices.


Financial Downturn Toolkit and Resources - This page provides resources and tools, including Excel spreadsheets and various templates, to help colleges and universities reconsider what in many cases are long-held assumptions, to seek answers to questions that may not have been asked before, and to think about how these issues will shape their institutions in the months and years ahead.

Debt Financing & Management - Find resources on institutional debt policy and management, the bond issuance and rating processes, typical debt vehicles, and common measures of creditworthiness.

Treasury Management - Find resources on effective cash management--maximizing short-term investment income, minimizing expenses, and streamlining processes associated with cash flows in the most cost-effective manner.

Moody's Rating Roadmap (April 2009) - "U.S. Colleges and Universities Rating Roadmap: Focus on Special Risks During Recession & Credit Crisis." (Reprinted with permission from Moody's Investor Services, Inc.)


Jacalyn Askin

Senior Fellow, Finance and Campus Management



New Report Demonstrates Financial Stability of Small and Mid-Sized Private Colleges

September 05, 2017

"The Financial Resilience of Independent Colleges and Universities" challenges the myth that small and mid-sized private institutions are at financial risk; data show that most are financially stable.

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  • September 17, 2018

    SEC Adopts New Disclosure Amendments

    Issuers of municipal securities are now required to provide to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board timely notice of certain new financial events. The new rules are designed to inform investors about the current financial condition of issuers.

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  • March 30, 2018

    Tuition Now Provides the Majority of Support for Public Higher Education in Many States

    Despite a modest increase in overall state higher education appropriations in FY17, public colleges and universities in 28 states now receive more than 50 percent of their total funding from student tuition and fees, according to the new State Higher Education Finance report.

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  • February 15, 2018

    Key Senators Offer New Accountability Principles for HEA Reauthorization

    Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) recently shared white papers exploring new requirements that would tie institutional Title IV eligibility with student loan repayment rates. These proposals could be signature elements in legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

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Upcoming Events

  • March 24, 2019

    2019 Student Financial Services Conference

    March 24-26 | New Orleans

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  • April 03, 2019

    Surviving and Thriving During Presidential Transitions

    How CBOs can foster smooth leadership transitions.

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  • March 14, 2019

    2018 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments Sponsors

    Thanks to the many corporate sponsors for their support of the annual endowment study.

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  • March 14, 2019

    NTSE Frequently Asked Questions

    A list pf common questions and answers about the NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments

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Press Release

  • March 14, 2019

    NACUBO Statement in Response to Senator Wyden’s College Admissions Scandal-Related Proposal

    Legislation that would diminish the ability of all colleges to provide quality higher education would be a severely misguided step in the wrong direction.

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  • July 30, 2018

    NACUBO Names New President and CEO

    Susan Whealler Johnston, Ph.D., is NACUBO’s first female CEO

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