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Plante Moran serves more than 250 educational institutions including private colleges, community colleges & universities. We help institutions find opportunities for new funding sources and collaboration, manage risk, harness legacy costs, streamline operations and leverage technology for growth and success.

Higher education

Higher education: No longer business as usual.
No one has to tell higher education leaders that times are changing. Many institutions are struggling to control costs while maintaining enrollment. When student debt in our country sits at an unprecedented $1 trillion — an increase of roughly 1,100 percent since 1980, which is more than any other goods or services in the U.S. economy — it is time to find ways to become more nimble and change business as usual. Because nothing about higher education is business as usual.

In every business, a strategic plan is necessary to stay competitive — both today and down the road. Does your institution have a solid plan to get through tough economic challenges without sacrificing the students and faculty?

Where can you turn for help? Our multidisciplinary higher education team can help institutions explore cost-saving opportunities and operations improvements such as consolidation, shared services, partnerships, commercialization of intellectual property, and technology innovations.

Cost-saving opportunities and operations improvement
Our operations improvement and cost containment specialists can quickly offer solutions for reducing costs. You can depend on our team to help you with new organizational models, suggest ways to reengineer current processes, and leverage your institution’s technology capabilities. Besides saving money, the efficiencies our operations team recommends can result in improved student services and enhanced revenue opportunities.

True forward thinkers must look for alternative revenue streams and programs. Concepts like consolidation and shared services are cropping up in the higher education conversation for good reason. Our higher education team will help you determine if a partnership, consolidation, or shared services with others is a viable solution for cutting costs, while still standing by the mission of your institution.

Thorough audit compliance and record keeping
In an era of increased transparency, the auditors on our higher education team can help you better communicate with stakeholders and funders. You will appreciate their thoroughness when they conduct internal audits, financial statement audits, and single audits (A-133). Audits as more than compliance work – throughout the audit process our staff will look for opportunities for improvements and cost saving. Plante Moran ranks second in the nation for the most single audits completed each year.

Optimizing technology and commercialization of intellectual property
It isn’t hard to see that a revised business model for higher education might include partnerships with other institutions — even those outside of academia. Perhaps it’s time to focus more attention on commercialization of intellectual property and the important role of the technology transfer office — even for nontraditional, research-intensive institutions. Our consultants will explore whether there are untapped opportunities for growth and entrepreneurship at your institution.

Our team will further help you leverage technology by assessing your needs, helping to select the best solutions, and managing implementation. You will appreciate their independence as they help you make decisions on the many options available. They can help you find added value in your current systems as well as discover new opportunities for technology optimization and cost-savings.

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Vicki VanDenBerg




Case Studies



​“We’ve worked with Plante Moran on a wide variety of consulting projects, including a new ERP system, storage area network, video on demand, and process redesign. Their technology team guided us through these projects, providing technical and business expertise. Their knowledge and professionalism gave us the comfort level we needed to make decisions and move forward. We plan on working with them for many more years and will continue to depend on them as we work with other two‐year schools in Ohio to create a shared services environment.”

Director of Information Systems & Services
Community College