Kathy Kurz

Tuition Remission and the Discount Rate - Monday Musings
As many of you know, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) calculates discount rates by taking all institutional aid including athletic aid (whether from unfunded sources, endowment, or annual gifts) and dividing by tuition and mandatory fee revenues. However, tuition remission for the dependents of faculty and staff is NOT included as institutional aid because NACUBO considers such funds to be an employee benefit and therefore a human resource cost. While we agree that treatment of tuition remission makes sense, it can produce some strange results, particularly at small institutions. Taken to its extreme, if the entire freshman class at an institution was comprised of faculty/staff dependents receiving…Read more

Is a makeover needed for liberal arts colleges? - Monday Musings
A recent Wall Street Journal article reported on the “muscular makeover” of the Hindu gods that was happening in India. What is driving the change? According to the article, “the changes are part of a reimagining of Hindu stories that supporters say makes them more relevant to India’s middle-class youth, who are navigating a far different world than the one in which their parents lived.” As I read the article, it occurred to me that many liberal arts colleges in the United States are also going through a “makeover” in order to remain relevant to today’s college going youth and their parents, who are concerned about how well a college degree—particularly in the liberal arts—will prepare them for today’s workforce. In April…Read more

Becoming Paperless Means More than Just Making Forms Electronic - Monday Musings
In the last few months, I have visited two financial aid offices that had recently become “paperless” using an imaging system. Surprisingly, however, their processes were just as cumbersome—or perhaps even more cumbersome—than when they had their old paper files. To be clear, this is not a criticism of the imaging system itself, but rather the way it had been implemented at these institutions. Essentially, they were creating an electronic “paper trail” in the imaging system that mirrored what they used to have in their file drawers. For example, to package a student or to change a package, an electronic worksheet was created in the imaging system. The award was calculated or re-calculated and entered on the worksheet. Then the awards…Read more