CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

University of Wisconsin Reaches Midpoint of Naming Agreement

With the University of Wisconsin Madison at the halfway point of its 20-year deal to keep the name of its business school intact, campus administrators and donors are reflecting on the agreement. Thoughts have consisted of the upside of the deal and what its future may hold. Most recently, there have been talks on whether donations can be used to delay the ending of the deal. Such talks have opened a larger discussion about college fundraising efforts, naming rights, and the impact on a university’s identity. The discussion has also garnered interest from donors, who consider the Wisconsin naming deal. Read More.

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Illinois Budget Issues Impacting Colleges & Universities

Illinois hasn’t had a budget for almost two years, causing a major ripple effect in the state’s education sector. According to an examination released by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, reduced educational funding has forced state public colleges and universities to lay off employees, cut staff salaries, and end degree programs. In some cases, higher institutions have had to put staff members on furlough. With no state budget in sight, the situation has caused prospective students to look elsewhere for education, further decreasing enrollment numbers and the financial strength of Illinois colleges and universities. More on Illinois’ budget woes is available at the Nonprofit Quarterly website.

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College Tuition Discount Rate Close to 50 Percent

The National Association of College and University Business Officers’ (“NACUBO”) latest study shows that tuition discounts at colleges and universities are on the rise again. Due to low tuition revenue and weak enrollment numbers, the average tuition discount rate in 2016-17 for a first-time, full-time student increased to 49.1 percent (48 percent for previous year). Counting all undergraduates, the average rate increased to 44.2 percent (43 percent for previous year), marking new record highs for the annual study. NACUBO’s Ken Redd contributes higher financial needs since the Great Recession and growing competition for new students due to a decreasing number. Read More.

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College Freshmen Survey Reveals Political Division

Last fall’s incoming freshmen class is considered the most politically polarized in history. The latest American Freshman Survey revealed that over 42 percent of first-year college students said they were “middle-of-the-road” on political matters. This percentage marks the lowest percentage of moderate students in the survey’s history. In addition, 35.5 percent of students said they were either liberal or far left, while around 22 percent identified as conservative or far right. Over 137,000 full-time college freshmen took part in the survey. More on the American Freshmen Survey is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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Purdue Unexpectedly Acquires Kaplan University

In a surprising move Thursday, Purdue University purchased for-profit school Kaplan University for $1. The deal allows the Indiana-based school to acquire most of the credential-issuing portion of Kaplan’s higher education business. An estimated 32,000 students and 15 campus locations will be impacted by the acquisition, and Purdue says the new university will not receive state funds. While some experts believe Purdue will increase its access to students, others are concerned over the school taking on Kaplan’s reputation for questionable student recruiting practices and credentials. More on Purdue’s acquisition of Kaplan University is available on Inside Higher Ed. Also check out Cherry Bekaert’s Education Group for details on how. Read More.

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What Happened to Higher Education Support in Illinois?

While the majority of states witnessed an increase in public higher education support last year, the state of Illinois experienced a significant drop. A report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association revealed that educational appropriations for a full-time student in Illinois plunged 80 percent, from $10,986 to $2,196. In addition, public institution enrollment decreased by 11 percent. The decreases are being contributed to state lawmakers unable to agree on a budget and approving pared-down stopgap funding measures. More on the State Higher Education Executive Officers report is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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