Colleges and Universities Must Cut Administrative Costs to Survive


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the financial stability of colleges and universities across the United States, many institutions are faced with tough decisions about how to cut costs in order to stay afloat. One area that has been identified as a key target for cost-cutting measures is administrative expenses.

According to a recent report by the Delta Cost Project, administrative costs at colleges and universities have been rising steadily for years, and now account for a significant portion of overall spending. In many cases, these costs include expenses related to staffing, technology, and facilities that do not directly support academic programs or student services.

In the face of declining enrollment and reduced state funding, many colleges and universities are realizing that they cannot continue to sustain such high levels of administrative spending. As a result, a growing number of institutions are taking steps to reduce these costs and streamline their operations.

Examples of Successful Cost-Cutting Measures

Some colleges and universities have already implemented successful cost-cutting measures to reduce administrative expenses. For example, the University of Dayton in Ohio has implemented a hiring freeze and reduced travel expenses for staff in order to cut costs. The University of California system has also taken steps to reduce administrative expenses, including consolidating departments and cutting staff positions.

Similarly, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has made significant progress in reducing administrative costs by implementing a variety of measures, including a hiring freeze, reduced travel expenses, and a reorganization of administrative departments. These efforts have helped the university save millions of dollars and improve its financial outlook.

Other institutions have found success in partnering with outside organizations to reduce administrative expenses. For example, the University of Maryland has partnered with a private company to outsource some of its administrative functions, such as IT support and human resources management.


While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for reducing administrative costs at colleges and universities, it is clear that institutions must take action in order to survive this crisis. By implementing a combination of measures, including hiring freezes, travel reductions, and departmental consolidations, institutions can reduce administrative expenses and redirect those resources towards academic programs and student services.


Delta Cost Project. (2018). Trends in College Spending: 2003-2013. Retrieved from

University of Dayton. (2021). Cost-Cutting Measures. Retrieved from

University of California. (2021). Administrative Efficiency Review. Retrieved from

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2021). Administrative Cost Reduction Initiative. Retrieved from

University of Maryland. (2021). Strategic Partnership. Retrieved from

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