Trustees | Costs

How Much is Too Much?

Controlling Administrative Costs through Effective Oversight
July 25, 2017 by ACTA Download PDF Press Release

With recent research from the Institute for Higher Education Policy showing that college is unaffordable for as many as 70% of working- and middle-class students, concerns about college costs are mounting. The cost of operating an institution of higher education, with very few exceptions, is reflected in the price of attendance that students, their families, and taxpayers face. While Americans make untold personal and financial sacrifices in order to access the value of a college credential, administrative expenses and overhead continue to rise on campuses. This new guide from ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance takes a deeper look at the way that administrative costs are reported and the challenge that trustees face in balancing the cost of administration with their core mission—teaching and learning. The guide provides trustees with at-a-glance, national benchmarks for median levels of administrative spending, while issuing an action plan for trustees who are ready to take on the challenge of controlling costs and achieving greater financial efficiency and transparency.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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