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ERIC Number: ED524349
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Explaining College Costs: NACUBO's Methodology for Identifying the Costs of Delivering Undergraduate Education
National Association of College and University Business Officers (NJ1)
In 1998, the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education issued a report calling on the nation's colleges and universities to increase their public accountability and to develop better consumer information about costs and prices. In response, the staff of the National Association of College and University Business Officers began to consider how the association might help its member institutions meet the commission's charge. The result is NACUBO's Cost of College Project, which is the subject of this report. The goal of the project was to create a uniform methodology that any college or university in the nation could use to explain and present how much it costs to provide one year of undergraduate education and related services. In undertaking this effort, NACUBO realized that it had a unique opportunity to contribute to a better public understanding of the kinds of expenditures an institution makes to deliver higher education programs, and how those costs relate to the price it charges. The challenge was to devise a uniform methodology that met several basic criteria: It should be simple to use and understand; it should be based on existing data from annual financial statements; it should be applicable to all types of colleges and universities; and it should produce reasonable results when compared with more detailed cost data derived from the institution's internal accounting methods. The goal was accomplished chiefly through in-depth examination of and experimentation with key components of these costs, guided by the 40 members of the NACUBO Ad Hoc Committee on College Costs. After more than two years of steady work on the methodology, including extensive consultations with outside experts and other higher education associations, the committee members agreed unanimously that the resultant methodology meets the original goal and criteria and works well to serve its intended purpose. As a result, the NACUBO Cost of College Project has achieved its goal. This report, its submission to the NACUBO Board of Directors, and its subsequent dissemination to colleges and universities and other interested parties will conclude the effort. Appended are: (1) Ad Hoc Committee on College Costs and Work Groups; (2) Field Test and Pilot Institutions; and (3) American Council on Education Letters: Invitation to Participate and Commendation. (Contains 9 figures and 3 footnotes.) [Funding this paper was provided by Andersen and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) Institute.]
National Association of College and University Business Officers. 1110 Vermont Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-462-4916; Tel: 202-861-2500; Fax: 202-861-2583; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of College and University Business Officers