The devil is in the details, but how to find the details?

Here is yet another entry in the ‘university financials’ series. It’s nice how easy it is to find the annual reports from most universities. It’s NOT so nice that they all lack detail and insight into how the university operates and spends money. For example, it’s easy to figure out how much they spend on “instruction costs” per student. But beyond that, good luck. How much do they spend on tenured professors versus adjuncts? How much do they spend per hour of in-class instruction? What is the distribution of salaries? The categories for reporting, used by…

Big Hospitals With “Little” Universities Attached

As part of my attempts to model a new, “ground-up”, global university, I have spent the last few weeks playing around with various operational models and necessary financials required to sustain these models. As a result, I have been digging through countless university annual reports in hopes of finding some general guidelines to building a financial model. Now I have to say PHEWWWWWWW! It has been kinda fun, kinda exhausting, and SUPREMELY CONFUSING! American universities are all over the place. Sometimes, I felt like I was looking at bank balance sheets with derivatives and all sorts of…

Costs Per Student UVA Vs. USC — Draw Your Own Conclusions

I posted this a couple months ago, but it didn’t get much attention. I think this post deserves a bit more healthy discussion. And by healthy, I mean: Whaaaaaaa?!?!?!?! How?!?!?!?!? Why?????? I decided to run a silly experiment. First, I found two colleges with the same ranking (23) and similar student body size on US News’ College Rankings. Then, I took a look at their spending habits. I used collegemeasures.org to create the figure below. Tuition at UVA is $12,696 in-state and $35,574 out-of-state(27% of student body). Tuition at USC is $46,298. USC charges a tuition that…