Higher Education Guide to Financial Services

University Business, January 2015 | Go to article overview

Higher Education Guide to Financial Services


The business of running a college or university was never an easy thing, and with expected new regulations (and deregulations) tied to reauthorization this year, it will likely be even more difficult. That's why we're bringing you our "2015 Higher Education Guide to Financial Services."

On the following pages you'll find a variety of vendors, consulting firms and advisors to help you work better, control costs and find your way through the increasingly complex world of financial services.

The companies and consultants on the following pages know how to help. They know what works because they've been through it before. They've worked with other institutions with similar problems. They can put a fresh perspective on your problems.

Consultants can provide a cost-effective solution to problems at your institution, but only if they are chosen carefully and used effectively. Finding the right consultant presents its own challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. And because your institution will likely be making a significant financial investment in seeking outside help, it's doubly important to ask some basic questions before signing on the dotted line. When choosing a consultant, remember:

* The best consultants essentially serve as an extension of the institution's staff, providing additional resources to accomplish things that aren't possible for a staff that may already feel stretched to the limit.

* A consultant who merely recommends strategies that have worked at other institutions, without a data-driven analysis of your particular market position and of the price elasticity of your pool, is a waste of time and money.

* Be sure the consultant has experience with your problem. For example, a financial aid practitioner will know what to look for when "scrubbing" the data files you provide, and frequently a practitioner can identify problems with the data based on anomalies that only someone familiar with financial aid practices and programs could identify.

* The consultant should be upfront about any arrangements they have with third-party vendors or services, and be able to clearly demonstrate why the option they are recommending is the best one for your institution.

* Both parties should clearly understand the nature and details of the project, including a summary of the recommended approach and objectives, the techniques used in the analysis, the costs, a timetable for completion, and the "deliverables."

* Check references, talk to colleagues who have worked with the consulting firm previously, and ask for a client list. Their insight should help you make the right decision.

* And finally, will the consultant or firm offer guidance to ensure your institution's continued success beyond the term of their involvement?

Our "Guide to Financial Services" is intended to help you find your way through the complex and often volatile financial landscape. Take advantage of the expertise offered here. It may be one of your best business decisions of the new year.

Admissions & Retention Services

CMD Outsourcing Solutions, Inc.

729 E. Pratt Street, Suite 700 Baltimore, MD 21202

(888) 817-7575

dcooper@cmdosi.com

http://www.cmdosi.com

Stevens Strategy

PO Box 72,12 Island View Grantham, NH 03753

(603) 863-4704

lnfo@StevensStrategy.com

http://www.StevensStrategy.com

Stevens Strategy is a full-service consulting firm specializing in managing the process of strategic change in colleges, universities and schools.

Our team of highly experienced consultants actively engages with our clients to assess and adapt to an ever-changing environment through understanding of culture, analysis of data, thoughtful planning, adherence to sound governance principles, policy development, and effective implementation of strategy. …

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