Creating frameworks for
financial sustainability
in higher education


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Diminishing state support. Increasing expectations for college programs. A cultural shift to students as consumers. The changing societal value of a college diploma. Technology that aids – or subverts – traditional methods of classroom instruction. Today’s universities and colleges face these challenges, and many more.

Administrations across the country are discovering traditional methods no longer work...and they’re scared for the future.

For over a decade, Mindstream has helped educational institutions across North America navigate 21st century challenges. With our help, they have saved millions of dollars – while preserving the unique culture of each, and maintaining their focus on teaching, research and service.

• Redirect resources where they’re needed
• Optimize the delivery of new programs and services
• Are tailored, pragmatic, holistic and enduring

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Mindstream gained a recent client $4.9 million in recurring savings – and significant process efficiencies.


Here’s how we help clients like you:

We find unnecessary, redundant, and inefficient activities, and give you concrete solutions. LEARN MORE arrow-icon LETS TALKarrow-icon
We help institutions develop optimal budgetary and resource allocation practices – ones that account for financial realities, incentivize your priorities, and provide sufficient accountability. LEARN MORE arrow-icon LETS TALKarrow-icon
Our pro forma models allow up-front identification of resources, as well as necessary accountability and transparency throughout. LEARN MORE arrow-icon LETS TALKarrow-icon
We collaborate closely with you to establish benchmarks, key performance indicators, and other preferences that guide our impartial analysis of your organization and systems. LEARN MORE arrow-icon LETS TALKarrow-icon
We help institutions determine whether service models like shared services and outsourcing could help them – and how to deploy them in ways that enhance long term success, and mitigate the unintended consequences that often result from haphazard application. LEARN MORE arrow-icon LETS TALKarrow-icon
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Current college and university borrowing practices create

financial weakness and endanger many institutions of higher education

Public attention has focused on runaway student debt, but colleges and universities have their own, equally severe debt problem. Diminishing enrollments, plummeting government funding, capital projects, and historically low interest rates are some of the reasons…but analysts agree that the debt routinely leaves educational institutions weaker.

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collective debt of U.S. colleges and universities

Taken together, colleges and universities in the U.S. owe $240 billion. For public universities, that equates to an 18 percent increase over five years to $145 billion. During the same period, private institutions’ debt edged up 3 percent, to $95 billion. And in 2016 alone, colleges and universities borrowed a record $41.3 billion through municipal bonds, which constitute most higher education debt.

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financing costs for higher education’s debt

Within a decade, financing costs for universities’ and colleges’ debt more than doubled – from $21 billion in 2003 to $48 billion in 2012. Seen another way: the cost of finances to higher education ballooned to 9% of the total higher education spending – despite a decrease in interest rates during the same period.

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