It’s hard to deny the impact the Great Recession of 2008 has had on higher education in America. Budgets are dwindling and funding is growing more and more difficult to obtain. From the smallest community colleges to the most prestigious universities, nobody is immune. For educational administrators looking to keep costs low while maintaining access to quality education, it can be difficult to figure out how to spend what little money remains. All but three states (Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming) are spending less now per student than they were spending prior to 2008. And those budget cuts don’t just affect students; faculty and staff are being paid less and are required to do more with what they have than ever before.
While it won’t solve all of your institution’s budget problems, here at eFileCabinet we have a solution that will prove an invaluable asset both to administrators and educators alike. Our document management services will help save any institution time and money and provide a stable platform on which to build for years to come. But in order to understand how our DMS service can help, it’s important to understand exactly what the financial crisis means for colleges and universities.
What Is Causing the Problem?
There is no single source or cause of the budget problems many educational facilities are facing. Instead, it is the result of a number of factors that are directly or indirectly related to the financial crisis that began in 2008.
State spending for public higher educational facilities has continued to drop for the past 5+ years. And as states spend less on education, schools have less money to work with, and they are still required to meet the same standards and expected to provide the same quality education to all students. To address funding cuts, many institutions have raised tuition, so students have seen tuition and admissions fees rise sharply, with some states seeing growth of up to 25% from one school year to the next. With less funding available, financial aid programs (internal and external) are being dropped or made more difficult to obtain. Add in increased interest rates on student loans and it becomes evident that all aspects of education are growing more costly for students.
As states look to balance increased costs, higher education is one of the first areas that has seen and will continue to see the greatest impact. According to the National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education, the rising costs of Medicaid will take away more than $60 billion dollars from state educational facilities over the next decade or so.
The net result of all the budget cuts and increased costs mean less money for schools to work with each and every day. Because of that, it’s important for educational administrators to think creatively to cut expenses.
A Simple Solution
When budget cuts are the norm, it’s hard to justify spending money on new products, services, or technology. If you can’t make do with what you currently need to pay for, how could you possibly afford to add something new to the mix?
At eFileCabinet, we know that adding a quality document management service specific to colleges and universities to your institution will provide a fantastic return on your investment. So what exactly is a DMS and how can it save you money over the next 10+ years? The answer is simple: it will save you time, and time is money.
Manage Your Institution’s Documents with Ease
While colleges and universities require many things to operate, one thing that dominates the educational system is data, specifically documents. From graded papers to tax forms, universities are more connected to various typed, scanned, and written documents than just about any other industry or institution around. Streamlining the document management process will dramatically improve efficiency through every department. Professors will be able to create, view, grade, and return assignments without worrying that some students won’t have access to their papers. Administrators will be able to create and manage messages, initiatives, events, and other documents quickly and efficiently. Even the financial department will be able to work with everything from tax documents to payroll information through a single, unified source. In short, a cohesive document management solution will improve efficiency, reduce technical burdens, and save time for every member of the institution, including students.
As with any new technology, an initial investment is required to work with a DMS. However, if you are looking to avoid the usual problems associated with budget cuts and invest in your institution’s future, our DMS is for you. Not only will eFileCabinet reduce long-term costs associated with managing documents, databases, and troubleshooting problems, our DMS will facilitate better communication between students, faculty, staff, and outside organizations. eFileCabinet is an adaptive technology that works across platforms and is designed to be compatible with other organizations your institution is involved with. While it won’t solve all of your budget problems, using technology that fosters and supports quick communication and data access is going to save your institution time and money for years to come.