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The Recession-Proof College

The Recession-Proof College

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How To Weather the Coming Economic Storm

Colleges have reaped the benefits of a bull market for almost 11 years, the longest in American history. But all bull markets eventually end, whether that takes the form of a slowdown, a brief downturn, or a full recession. Many economists predict a downturn by mid-2021 – just before enrollment numbers are expected to decline due to population shifts. Rather than shift into short-term crisis mode, institutions must evaluate their mission, establish financial priorities, and intensify their efforts to retain and graduate students.   

This issue brief explores how institutions can create financial stability, adapt to an ever-evolving market, and emerge from an economic downturn stronger and savvier. At a time when increasing tuition is rarely an option, it is essential that colleges and universities take advantage of niche opportunities, develop austerity plans, and increase reserves. Some institutions never fully recovered from the last recession, but with strong leadership, strategic mission-driven planning, and a continued emphasis on student success, they can be better equipped to mitigate the impact of the next economic downturn.  

Purchase your copy for insight into:

  • Why the next economic downturn will be the last best chance to prepare for the coming enrollment decline.
  • The lingering damage of the last recession, and how it impacted public perceptions of higher education.
  • The benefits of stress-testing to gauge readiness, such as enforcing changes to endowment spending, selling assets during stable periods, and investing in variable compensation plans.
  • Why the timing of a recession is less important than the overall outlook for the next three to five years.
  • The strategies some institutions are already implementing to stay relevant and prepare for an inevitable downturn.

Date: February 2020
Pages: 36
Digital file size: 1.70 MB

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