institutionalfinance

U. of California Ordered to Reveal Details on Investments

A California judge has ordered the University of California System to reveal how its investments in two venture capital funds have performed, The San Jose Mercury News reported. Reuters sued for the information, arguing that it is covered by the state's open-records laws, a point disputed by the university system.

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Moody's: Higher Ed Downgrades Vastly Exceeded Upgrades in 2012

Moody's Investors Service downgraded 34 higher education institutions in 2012 while upgrading only 3, the ratings agency reported Friday, an indicator of ongoing financial challenges facing colleges and universities. Analysts chalked up the downgrades to problems raising net tuition revenue, continued state budget cuts, and enrollment troubles. "Of the seven public universities whose ratings were downgraded in the fourth quarter, five had declines in total full-time equivalent student enrollment," the report notes. Prominent downgrades included the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and Pennsylvania State University.

Endowments averaged a small loss for the 2012 fiscal year

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College endowments averaged a small loss for the 2012 fiscal year -- the third year of losses since 2007 -- highlighting growing uncertainty about a once robust and predictable revenue stream.

CFPB opens wide-ranging inquiry into campus debit cards

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opens an inquiry into colleges' agreements with banks and providers of preloaded debit cards.

Community colleges are good investment for students and taxpayers, report finds

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Associate degrees pay off for both students and taxpayers, report finds, but state funding of community colleges still lags.

Colorado shifts focus of state grant from affordability to completion

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Without enough state aid dollars to make college affordable, Colorado is shifting the focus of its grant program from affordability to encouraging credit completion. 

$100M for Engineering at U. of Illinois

The Grainger Foundation has pledged $100 million for engineering programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The funds will be used for endowed chairs, scholarships and facilities.

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Fund-Raisers Predict Return to Pre-Recession Levels

College and university fund-raisers predict that giving to their institutions grew by an average of 5.5 percent in 2012, according to a twice-annual survey by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. If that prediction holds true, giving for 2012 would be higher than the $31.6 billion record high for the 2007-8 academic year. Fund-raisers also predict giving to grow by 5.8 percent in 2013, a rate equal to the average over the past 20 years.

New Effort to Help Public Universities

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is planning a new commission that will study the issues facing public universities and consider ways to bolster them in an era of reduced tax support, The Los Angeles Times reported. The new commission will be announced today. It will be led by Robert J. Birgeneau, who is retiring in June as chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. In honor of the president who signed the legislation in 1862 that led to the system of land grant universities, the new effort will be called "The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education."

Bloomberg Gives $350 Million to Johns Hopkins

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a $350 million donation to Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater. The new gift brings his lifetime giving to Hopkins to $1.18 billion -- making him the first person to top $1 billion in gifts to an American college or university. The new funds will be used for two primary purposes. The bulk of the money will be used to endow professorships for interdisciplinary work in vital areas. The initial appointments will be in water resource sustainability, individualized health care delivery, global health, the science of learning, and urban revitalization.

The university will use $100 million from the gift for need-based aid for undergraduates. Hopkins is among the more prominent private universities in the United States that have not declared a need-blind admissions policy (meaning that applicants are reviewed and admitted without regard to financial need). Ronald Daniels, the president, has stated that he has a goal of making Hopkins need-blind. An article in The New York Times about Bloomberg's relationship with Hopkins said that he has financed 20 percent of need-based financial aid for undergraduates in recent years.

 

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