PwC Higher Education Practice

Addressing the challenges and opportunities facing colleges and universities

Higher education institutions face a confluence of external and internal challenges.

PwC’s higher education practice is built to help address the opportunities and challenges faced by higher education institutions today. With dedicated professionals working with colleges and universities across the nation, PwC assists our higher education clients in identifying opportunities to increase accountability, transparency, and help to transform to align resources to support their missions.

higher education

COVID-19 lessons for Higher Education 

Higher education has been, and continues to be, profoundly disrupted due to the emergence of COVID-19. Colleges and universities are managing through significant changes in their operations, while striving to maintain the health and wellness of their community; to comply with new and developing laws, regulations and ordinances; to care for their students, faculty and staff; and to weigh short- and long-term changes to their operating model to ensure the continued success of the institution.

Learn more by reading our report, Higher Education: What can we learn from this pandemic

Opportunity and challenge focus areas for higher education

PwC believes there are four business imperatives facing higher education institutions today:

Rising tuition levels have already exacerbated student debt levels, making it difficult to continue to increase tuition. This in addition to existing administrative inefficiencies and the need to update technology, is leading institutions to look for ways to streamline.

As the pace of change increases, higher education finds itself needing to move faster to remain on the cutting edge, including business transformation enabled through technology (ERPs) and are considering strategies around research, growth and new education models.

Demonstrate value
Increasing access to data analytics is creating opportunity to measure return on investment and demonstrate value in academic compliance and resource optimization.

Risk mitigation
The public is focused on safety and security more than ever, particularly on campuses. Institutions find themselves needing to demonstrate that they are getting ahead of these risks.

PwC is your trusted advisor

  • Over 1700 professionals across the nation servicing colleges and universities, with 100+ dedicated exclusively to higher education
  • Serve top public university systems
  • Over 150 higher education institutions served by PwC in 2016
  • Work with 14 of the top 15 private medical schools1
  • Serve 18 of the top 20 highly endowed universities1

1 PwC client list and US News & World Reports “Top Medical Schools” (2017)


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Thom Bales

Thom Bales

Partner, Health Services Consulting Solutions Leader, PwC US

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