Kent State University

Proactive Fiscal Stewardship Ahead of a Global Pandemic

Kent State University


Since its founding as a teacher-training school in 1910, Kent State University (KSU) has become an R2 public research university with seven regional campuses, three national and international facilities, and more than 35,000 students. It's has been on the rise for more than a decade, with record enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. But in 2020, the global pandemic put the higher education industry at risk.

However, despite concerns across the higher-ed sector, KSU has remained in a position of strength. How did they do it? Read the case study to learn more about how KSU’s achieved success by partnering with the HelioCampus Benchmarking Consortium. 

As of April of 2020, “we’ve achieved a cumulative $75 million in combined revenue enhancements, cost reductions, and cost avoidance for the period 2015 through 2019 while shifting significant resources away from administrative and overhead functions directly to student success.”

Mark Polatajko

Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Kent State University

The ROI Framework In Action

To improve efficiency and boost effectiveness, HelioCampus provides clients with a comprehensive framework to increase ROI. This framework includes more than 50 data points which helps institutions identify opportunities to reinvest in student success. Data points include labor costs and administrative spending in departments like human resources, IT, financial aid, general admin, and more.

Based on the data, KSU made the decision to:

  • Significantly increase investments in mission-critical areas that emphasize the university’s core mission of student access, completion, and outcomes.
  • At an implementation level, these investments translated to a focus on investments in academic advising, tutoring, completion scholarships, textbook affordability, career development and exploration, and student mental health services.

Learn More About the Results 

Read the Case Study