Strategy Pillar 5 – Increasing Student Economic Value and Institutional Viability
Consumer, market, governmental, and competitive forces are placing extreme emphasis and focus on the full cost of attending a higher education institution, annual tuition increases, and the levels of student and parent debt associated with attending college. The combination of these forces results in downward price pressures for most institutions of higher education which in turn increases the difficulty for institutions to balance revenues and expenses, invest in the future, and increase needed endowment funds.
Huntington University is not immune to these challenges having experienced below benchmark overall financial health the last several years. While limiting Huntington University’s ability to invest as much as desired in the future, Huntington’s combination of focus on the students, stewardship, and teamwork have resulted in Huntington being recognized in 2014 as the Best Economic Value in Indiana by the Educate to Career College Ranking Index. The Economic Value Award recognizes those institutions that provide the best tuition value as measured by graduates’ salaries upon completion of their degree. Downward and competitive pressures on tuition prices are expected to continue through the planning horizon making the challenge of demonstrating student value for the dollar spent all the more important for the foreseeable future. Strategically, Huntington University intends to address this critical issue by consistently increasing and highlighting the economic value provided to students. Simultaneously, it is equally important to proactively manage tuition, financial aid, and other operating costs while diversifying revenues and spotlighting opportunities for external funding of key mission related projects and programs
With emphasis on increasing student value through the Strategy Pillars of career engaging HU Experiences, enriched Spiritual Significance, enhanced Academic Excellence and in-demand Strategic Program Growth, Huntington University will continue to be recognized as a leader in providing high student economic value. Students will be attracted to and retained at Huntington University by the clear economic value emerging from each of the Strategy Pillars. Huntington University will increase communications and marketing highlighting the value proposition. Fiscal health will improve as enrollment increases and overall financial aid and operating costs are closely managed across the increasing enrollment landscape. Financial aid will be examined for opportunities to increase access and improve financial health. Key drivers of total operating costs will be examined for effectiveness, excellence, and alignment with the strategic plan.
We will achieve benchmark financial health performance when compared to the Council of Independent Colleges Financial Indicators Tool (FIT), annual percentage of cash flow compared to peer institutions, and achievement of lender designated debt service performance. Some investments to support Strategy Pillars will be funded internally from improvements in overall financial performance. Initial priority will be given to support hiring and retaining excellent faculty and staff. These investments remain central to Huntington University’s belief that satisfied, committed faculty and staff provide exemplary student services and value. Subsequent surpluses will be invested in the highest priority needs within the Strategy Pillars. Investments will be evaluated upon the potential to increase net tuition revenue. We will launch new fundraising initiatives and develop our endowment, increasing its flexibility to meet student and institutional priorities. A stronger financial portfolio provides increased accessibility and affordability for students. The long range Facility Master Plan will be updated and prioritized to accelerate advancement of the Strategy Pillars. $20 Million will be raised for strategic investment and endowment improvements. Aggressive efforts will be made to broaden and diversify revenue sources to sustain our fiscal viability and allow us to strategically invest in innovative opportunities. Our vision and execution will motivate collaboration that we can’t conceive today. We will find new partners that support and sponsor our mission and vision, our highest priority growth programs, and our long-range resource needs.
By demonstrating creative and entrepreneurial responses to challenges, we model for students an unflinching acceptance of what is, and unflagging persistence to Move Faith Forward.
- Define, communicate, and market Huntington University’s total student economic value proposition.
- Conduct comprehensive reviews of total financial aid and total operating costs for effectiveness excellence and alignment with the strategic plan.
- Achieve benchmark overall financial health, targeted cash flow per year, and lender debt service performance.
- Update the long range Facility Master Plan.
- Raise $20M for strategic investment and endowment improvements.
- Set and strive for benchmark goals for faculty and staff compensation.
- Diversify revenue resources through HU Ventures or other entrepreneurial revenue streams.
Recommended Success Indicators:
- Broad understanding of the student economic value proposition.
- Development of a strong net tuition value message and measurement.
- Recurring recognition for the Best Economic Value or similar distinction.
- Enrollment growth in higher margin programs.
- Faculty and staff salary improvements.
- Annual budget allocations for marketing, technology, and deferred maintenance that align with strategic pillars.
- Cross-functional teams working to improve overall financial aid utilization and allocation.
- Clear connections between strategic planning, assessment and budgetary decisions.
- Emerging sponsors for high growth programs and investment projects.
- Plans developed for raising $20M.
- Increased interest and activity in developing substantial HU Ventures.
Measurements of Success:
- Student economic value – Consistent increases in ratio of Average Graduate Salary / Net Tuition per FTE.
- Financial aid discount – Meet annual targets. 3% discount rate reduction by 2022
- Cash flow – Meet annual targets of cash flow excess over operational expenses.
- Overall financial health – Set and meet annual FIT and debt service targets. Benchmark performance by 2022.
- External fund raising - $20M cumulative by 2022.
- Diversified revenue – 3 New HU Venture initiatives; $250K income by 2022.
- Endowment - $4M New Funding by 2022. Benchmark endowment per FTE performance.
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