Perspectives in Higher Education 2018

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The higher education environment continues to be complex, with increasing expectations about performance, accountability and value from many constituents including students, parents, regulators, donors and federal and state governments. This paper shares PwC’s insights into the key challenges and related opportunities facing colleges and universities, and offers an informed point of view on how institutions might proactively respond.

Washington's impact on educational institutions

The Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda has reached every corner of the federal government, including higher education-related policies and procedures. While Congress is working toward a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), it is likely that the Administration will continue to be the primary driver of change within the higher education sector. Legislated reforms are expected to originate outside of a full-scale HEA reauthorization, which is unlikely to be enacted this year.

We believe the drivers in federally directed changes to higher education include:

  • Higher Education Act Reauthorization
  • Deregulation and the Trump Administration
  • Current Student loan considerations
  • Research and research funding
  • Immigration considerations

Other challenges to higher education

Colleges and universities continue to deal with political, financial and compliance challenges. While each institution has its own unique set of challenges, all educational institutions are currently contending with a number of shared challenges, including:

  • Tax reform
  • Affordability
  • Internationalization
  • Cybersecurity
  • Risk associated with disruptive innovation
  • Mental health on campus

Contact us

Margaret Stover

National Higher Education Advisory leader, PwC US

Christopher Cox

National Higher Education Assurance leader, PwC US

Rob Friz

Health Services Tax Leader, PwC US

Matt Booth

Partner, National Higher Education Risk Leader, PwC US

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