EDUC516 - Financial Management in Higher Education

Course Details

Course Code: EDUC516 Course ID: 5054 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course will examine and analyze the factors, challenges, and complexities of financing higher education institutions. Students will develop perspectives of how campuses are funded through a variety of revenue streams while also gaining practical experience to understand financial concepts, processes, institutional considerations, and budgetary tools. (Prerequisites: EDUC511 and either SAHE510 or ADHE601)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Start Month Session Weeks
06/26/2023 - 12/01/2023 12/04/2023 - 01/28/2024 December Fall 2023 Session D 8 Week session
08/28/2023 - 02/02/2024 02/05/2024 - 03/31/2024 February Winter 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • C01 - Analyze the evolution of funding patterns of U.S. colleges and universities
  • CO2 - Assess significant state and federal funding sources that subsidize higher education
  • CO3 - Analyze student financial aid policies in the public and private sectors
  • CO4 - Compare and contrast the sources of revenue at different institution types.
  • CO5 - Distinguish the role and function of research, development, and other externally funded activities, and their impact on institutional finances
  • CO6 - Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret higher education budgets
  • CO7 - Use critical thinking skills related to concepts of efficiency and productivity
  • CO8 - Develop an understanding of the financial challenges currently facing higher education

Professional competency areas for Student Affairs educators established by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) as well as the standards established by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

2018 ACPA & NASPA Professional Competency Standards

1. Personal and Ethical Foundations

  • Involves the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop and maintain integrity in one’s life and work; this includes thoughtful development, critique, and adherence to a holistic and comprehensive standard of ethics and commitment to one’s own wellness and growth. Personal and ethical foundations are aligned because integrity has an internal locus informed by a combination of external ethical guidelines, an internal voice of care, and our own lived experiences. Our personal and ethical foundations grow through a process of curiosity, refection, and self-authorship.

2. Values, Philosophy, and History

  • Involves knowledge, skills, and dispositions that connect the history, philosophy, and values of the student affairs profession to one’s current professional practice. This competency area embodies the foundations of the profession from which current and future research, scholarship, and practice will change and grow. The commitment to demonstrating this competency area ensures that our present and future practices are informed by an understanding of the profession’s history, philosophy, and values.

3. Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

  • Focuses on the ability to design, conduct, critique, and use various assessment, evaluation, and research methodologies and the results obtained from them, to utilize assessment, evaluation, and research processes and their results to inform practices and to shape the political and ethical climate surrounding assessment, evaluation, and research AER processes and uses in higher education.

4. Law, Policy, and Governance

  • Includes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions relating to policy development processes used in various contexts, the application of legal constructs, compliance/policy issues, and the understanding of governance structures and their impact on one’s professional practice.

5. Organizational and Human Resources

  • Includes knowledge, skills, and dispositions used in the management of institutional human capital, financial, and physical resources. This competency area recognizes that student affairs professionals bring personal strengths and grow as managers through challenging themselves to build new skills in the selection, supervision, motivation, and formal evaluation of staff; resolution of conflict; management of the politics of organizational discourse; and the effective application of strategies and techniques associated with financial resources, facilities management, fundraising, technology, crisis management, risk management and sustainable resources.

6. Leadership

  • Addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of a leader, with or without positional authority. Leadership involves both the individual role of a leader and the leadership process of individuals working together to envision, plan, and affect change in organizations and respond to broad-based constituencies and issues. This can include working with students, student affairs colleagues, faculty, and community members.

7. Social Justice and Inclusion

  • While there are many conceptions of social justice and inclusion in various contexts, for the purposes of this competency area, it is defined here as both a process and a goal which includes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to create learning environments that foster equitable participation of all groups while seeking to address and acknowledge issues of oppression, privilege, and power. This competency involves student affairs educators who have a sense of their own agency and social responsibility that includes others, their community, and the larger global context. Student affairs educators may incorporate social justice and inclusion competencies into their practice through seeking to meet the needs of all groups, equitably distributing resources, raising social consciousness, and repairing past and current harms on campus communities.

8. Student Learning and Development

  • Addresses the concepts and principles of student development and learning theory. This includes the ability to apply theory to improve and inform student affairs and teaching practice.

9. Technology

  • Focuses on the use of digital tools, resources, and technologies for the advancement of student learning, development, and success as well as the improved performance of student affairs professionals. Included within this area are knowledge, skills, and dispositions that lead to the generation of digital literacy and digital citizenship within communities of students, student affairs professionals, faculty members, and colleges and universities as a whole.

10. Advising and Supporting

  • Addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to providing advising and support to individuals and groups through direction, feedback, critique, referral, and guidance. Through developing advising and supporting strategies that take into account self-knowledge and the needs of others, we play critical roles in advancing the holistic wellness of ourselves, our students, and our colleagues.

Analytic Analysis Papers (4)

Throughout the term, the student will write four (4) analytic analysis papers based on contemporary issues facing higher education leaders (Administration and/or Student Affairs). The analytic analysis should each explore in further detail a topic addressed in the assigned readings. Papers should provide a critical review and analysis of the readings situated in the larger context of higher education operations. Finally, the papers should provide a final analysis section in which students explain how the readings have impacted their thought processes on higher education finance. Papers will be assessed on their content as well as how clearly and concisely the topic is addressed. Complete instructions and rubric are available with each assignment.

PowerPoint Presentations (2)

Students will create two brief PowerPoint presentations that address key areas of higher education student affairs and/or administration (Week One: Origins of State Financing; Week Six: Endowments). Complete instructions and rubric are available with each assignment.

Final Position Paper

Students create a final position paper that explores a current topic that affects the future of higher education institutions. The topic should be selected from those examined in the course (unless approved by the instructor). The paper will address current higher education issues, challenges, and possible solutions. Papers will be graded for accuracy of interpretation, rigor of argument, and clarity of expression. Complete instructions and rubric are specified.

Forum Discussion

Please join the forums each week. Students must post a reply to both weekly forums and reply to at least 2 other students for each Forum. This means that each week you should have 2 initial posts and 4 responsive posts. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the each week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the week ends in order to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.


  • Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesdayy.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 250 words.
  • Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 100 words.
  • Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
  • All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.

Grading Values

Grade Instruments

% of Final Grade

Forum Discussions


Issue Paper Assignments (4)


PowerPoint Presentations (2)


Final Position Paper




The success of this course depends on your ability to read the assigned readings closely, think carefully about the points raised or ignored by authors, and bring to the group your questions and concerns about their theses and positions. Prior to each new week in the class, please review announcements and lessons. Having prepared and read the required readings prior to class ensures your productive participation.

We should work to achieve conversational exchanges with each other through Forums and emails, constructively challenging each other to think broadly and critically about ideas or assertions posed by the readings.

In all participation and assignments I am looking for evidence of:

  • demonstration of substantial knowledge and higher order thinking and analytic skills and application of facts, concepts, terms, and processes learned/read/discussed;
  • critical contemplation, e.g., "grapple" with issues and topics;
  • appropriate use of knowledge learned;
  • imaginative thinking and responses to challenges/problems/issues;
  • exploring underlying assumptions about the lifelong value of education and schooling;
  • clarity of expression and logical connection among ideas expressed;
  • writing that reflects precise and concise thinking;
  • excellent grammar, syntax, and spelling.
NameGrade %
Discussions 30.00%
W1 Introduction Video 3.33%
W1 The GI Bill in Higher Education 3.33%
W2 The Morrill Act 3.33%
W3 Education Expenditures 3.33%
W4 Public Good Private Good 3.33%
W5 Budgeting 3.33%
W6 Endowments 3.33%
W7 Strategic Budget Planning 3.33%
W8 The Future of Higher Education 3.33%
Issue Paper Assignments 30.00%
Week Two Paper: The Lost Decade of Funding 7.50%
Week Three Paper Expenditures Resources and Inequality 7.50%
Week Four Student Employment and Tuition 7.50%
Week Five Higher Education Budgeting Process 7.50%
PowerPoint Presentations 15.00%
Week One PowerPoint Origins of Higher Education Funding 7.50%
Week Six PowerPoint Endowments 7.50%
Final Position Paper 25.00%
Week Eight Position Paper 25.00%

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.