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Higher Education Consulting

Stay ahead of the ever-changing higher education landscape with strategic, innovative approaches.
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Higher education clients served


Years serving higher education clients

Find the way forward for your institution.

From decreased enrollment and margins to conflicting expectations, higher education leaders face a litany of pressures and challenges.

At Forvis Mazars, we understand those who drive higher education and the value each institution adds to the collective future. Our consultants have extensive knowledge of the education system and employ powerful tools, data, and analytics to help schools make necessary changes. We deliver an Unmatched Client Experience® to help you achieve your school’s mission and goals, including academic program and portfolio reviews, compensation studies, benchmarking, strategic planning, and change management.

Financial Health

Program Economic Analysis

Gain confidence in your data and make informed decisions. Our Program Economic Analysis (PEA) helps you visualize your data and provides insights into which programs are making money and which aren’t—potentially identifying significant savings.

We also offer services designed to augment PEA data:

  • Personalized workshops to guide you through your data discovery phase. You’ll learn valuable insights and clear, actionable next steps.
  • Extensive internal and external analysis of your programs that draws on industry and institutional data. Gain new understanding and inspiration to make informed program and people decisions.
  • Identification of inefficiencies and how to turn them into opportunities.
  • Assistance in developing and implementing a strategic academic plan that can help guide you from recommendations to action.

Learn more

Financial & Scenario Modeling

Realize the financial impact of your current business model and planned initiatives over the next several years with our dynamic, agile forecasting resource.

Our modeling helps you create, manage, and visualize different assumptions and initiatives that can provide real-time analysis and integrated presentations of financial statements, cash flow projections, and ratio analysis.

Strategic Academic Planning & Implementation

Ready to make substantive changes to your academic portfolio? Our Strategic Academic Planning and Implementation (SAPI) service can help.

SAPI uses a phased approach—an intentional model created by people with experience in higher education who comprehend the complicated dynamics that frame any portfolio review.

We explore each program’s economic and non-economic contributions to the school, including constituents from around campus. The result is a clear plan for monitoring at-risk programs and making strategic academic investments.

SAPI is designed to help you make informed decisions. Our consultants are with you from start to finish, providing insights, benchmarking, and evaluation tools to help you develop a successful plan with a sustainable approach.

Major Transaction Evaluation

If your institution is considering expansion or consolidation—whether through a merger or buying or selling holdings—our team can provide experienced guidance.

We’ve performed due diligence on billions of dollars in transactions, so we can help identify opportunities or risk factors related to your merger, acquisition, sale, or lease.

Financial Exigency Consulting

With over 300 higher education clients, we’ve seen most situations. We help our clients navigate financial exigency or financial challenges by using robust modeling and thoughtful consulting. We work with you to strategize next steps and unpack tailored support that can help you put your best foot forward.


Strategic Planning

Your strategic plan is a road map for the future. Based on our culture of forward thinking and experience across multiple industries, we begin with a discovery period to learn more about your institution and its goals.

Then, we help synergize those goals with your mission and available resources, helping you facilitate a plan that’s aspirational and attainable.

Finally, we collaborate with you to help develop a set of key performance indicators for tracking your progress over time, giving you the tools you need to maintain forward momentum.

Higher Education Benchmarking

We combine analytics and industry data to help you better understand your position in an increasingly competitive landscape. Our time-saving platform helps you drill down and interactively compare benchmarking metrics, giving you flexibility to perform comparative analysis, identify trends, and evaluate metrics beyond standard IPEDS Data Feedback Reports.

We also provide tailored financial benchmarking to help you uncover costs, revenues, and other factors that can identify inefficiencies and opportunities.

Market Analysis

If you’re making a strategic investment, launching a new initiative, or needing to know how well your academic programs serve your community, Forvis Mazars can help. Gain access to the credible and actionable insights your team needs to make smart, strategic decisions.

Student Body Analytics

Need a deeper understanding of your students and their success? We can leverage your student data to create a model that helps you predict which potential students are most likely to matriculate and which enrolled students are likely to be retained. 

This valuable knowledge can assist you in making informed decisions about financial aid, student support, and strategic scheduling. Our consultants round out this cost-effective service by providing insights and recommendations for addressing key areas of concern.

We also can extensively review your students’ academic records to explore patterns that will help you develop programs and personnel that bring your mission to life.

People & Culture

Organizational Development & Change Management

Is your institution struggling to support students? Does it seem like you don’t have the right people in the right positions? Are your day-to-day tasks cumbersome or inefficient to the point of compromising mission-critical programs and services?

We can help you identify where your communications, systems, structures, or technology are preventing your institution from progressing. This service is paired with our powerful, proprietary change management tool, Clari³ty, which helps us conduct an assessment of readiness for change.

Faculty & Staff Compensation Studies

Colleges and universities are finding it increasingly difficult to retain high-quality faculty and staff due to increasing competition and concerns about internal pay equity.

If you’re committed to recruiting qualified personnel and mitigating turnover, we can help:

  • Benchmark your compensation practices against peer and competitor institutions
  • Conduct internal analyses of your compensation data to identify systematic differences in how people are paid
  • Provide a set of actionable recommendations driven by your institution’s financial realities and mindful of its long-term financial health
  • Communicate the study’s methodology, data sources, and outcomes to constituents

Workshops & Specialized Training

Institutions often have nuanced challenges or strategic initiatives that won’t fit into conference-wide training.

Forvis Mazars delivers workshops year-round at professional organizations across the county. We can facilitate a remote or in-person full-day, customized workshop on any of these higher education topics:

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Accreditation & Assessment
  • Curriculum Redesign
  • Financial Literacy
  • Student Services & Student Affairs Trends

We offer additional training as requested—just tell us about your needs.

Board Training & Development

Your board members can be your strongest advocates, and it’s essential they’re equipped with the necessary knowledge and insights to help your institution achieve its forward vision. We can work with your board to provide customized training on governance and higher education leadership. We also can meet with your leaders to share best practices in strategic planning, financial management, and personnel development.

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How Forvis Mazars Can Help You

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Clari³ty® Solutions
This tool combines an interactive analytics platform with insightful analysis to identify challenges in your ability to drive change and help you make better data-driven decisions through evidence-based and validated diagnostics.
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IT Risk & Compliance Services
Protect your cybersecurity protocols, meet the latest regulatory requirements, and keep pace with industry best practices with help from our trusted advisors.
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Internal Audit & Compliance
Evolving risks occur at an unprecedented pace, forcing internal audit functions to assess the potential impact on the organization’s overall risk profile. Forvis Mazars has the experience needed to guide clients in preparedness and risk mitigation efforts.

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