Unlocking the Value of Fintech in Higher Education

The Value of Fintech in Higher Education

We sat down with CFOs Samantha Gallagher from Fort Lewis College and Dr. Michael Horan of Worcester Polytechnic Institute to talk about the value that fintech can bring to higher education finance. They walk us through their use cases, from scenario analysis and long-range planning, to the importance of being able to pivot easily when faced with an unexpected enrollment drop.

Samantha and Michael dive deep into the advantages of setting up a platform that makes the most of your audited finances. You'll see how Synario takes financial planning and analysis beyond what spreadsheets are capable of, leading to additional insights without the headaches of manual spreadsheets and version control issues. Finally, see how Synario can be a tool outside of just long range planning and analysis, our speakers illustrate how usage of Synario builds credibility in the board room and with parties that aren't in financial disciplines, being able to drill down into any calculation and find exactly where these numbers come from is a huge boon in instantly explaining how you came to your financial conclusions.

Viewers will get a demo of some of the platform features like toggling on/off scenarios, real-time reporting demonstration, and on-the-fly adjustments.


Session Overview:

Samantha Gallagher –
The Transition to Tech Forward Planning

  • 2:00 – Fort Lewis College Introduction
  • 3:00 – Why Synario? Challenges to solve.
  • 5:30 – Implementation Goals Overview
  • 7:15 – One Version
  • 8:00 – Refineable
  • 9:10 – Understandable for the Board
  • 9:46 – Ongoing and One-Time Initiatives

Michael Horan –
Breakdown of the Fintech Use Case

  • 11:00 – Worcester Polytechnic Overview
  • 13:50 – Student Summary Trend Analysis 
  • 16:08 – Housing Summary
  • 17:06 – Capital Project Planning
  • 17:36 – Managerial Reporting by Scenario
  • 19:01 – Building Credibility with the Board
  • 20:30 – Real-time presentation updates


  • 22:08 – FTE effort required for platform maintenance
  • 31:30 – Decision making improvements
  • 33:25 – How do you cross reference enrollment and comprehensive campaign planning with other colleagues on campus?
  • 35:08 – Techniques and best practices for easily digestible financial information.
  • 38:30 – Which KPIs have been most critical to visualize when communicating with board or community members?
  • 41:30 – How does the enrollment cliff factor into your financial planning and analysis strategies?
  • 44:30 – What future initiatives are you planning for?