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Synario Partnership Gives 89 Pennsylvania Colleges and Universities a New Tool to Help Overcome Financial Challenges

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PHILADELPHIA – October 19, 2017:  PFM and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) today announced a new partnership that will grant 89 higher education institutions across the Commonwealth access to the preeminent software tool on the market built specifically for comprehensive financial modeling.

Synario will now provide financial officers at Pennsylvania institutions large and small with an easy to implement tool that can quickly conduct comprehensive multi-year analyses and sensitivity testing on major issues, including:

  • Student enrollment projections (fees & discounts)
  • Capital projects and initiatives modeling
  • Recession and other economic scenarios
  • Salaries, staffing and benefits expense what-ifs
  • Credit rating impact analysis

“By partnering with a statewide organization that exclusively serves the interests of higher education institutions, we’re giving Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities a unique advantage in meeting the challenges of the 21st century,” said PFM Managing Director Brett Matteo, who heads PFM’s Strategic Forecasting practice. “We were founded and remain headquartered in the Keystone state, so this partnership is a particularly proud moment for PFM.”

Acquired in 2015, PFM has customized Synario to put reliable answers to mission-critical questions at leaders’ fingertips, such as:

  • How might a new pricing strategy impact student enrollment?
  • What is the best way to fund capital projects or initiatives?
  • What impact will increased spending on capital projects have on operations?
  • Are we prepared to weather the next economic downturn? Do we have sufficient reserves and manageable risk exposure?
  • How will salary negotiations and contracts impact our bottom line over the next 3-5 years?
  • How might any, or all, of these issues affect our credit rating?

“This not only gives Pennsylvania institutions a unique advantage compared to those in other states, it also puts our members – many of which are small and increasingly strained financially – on a level playing field with their larger colleagues in higher education,” said Tim Alexander, AICUP Vice President of Finance and Administration. “We always look for new ways to support our members, and this is truly a no-brainer. We’re excited to see the impact of this partnership in the years to come.”


The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), the only statewide organization that serves exclusively the interests of private higher education within the Commonwealth, exists to complement and support the work of campus leaders.

AICUP’s mission is to educate policymakers, media representatives, and civic and corporate leaders about the benefits, value and quality education available at Pennsylvania’s independent colleges and universities. This educational effort is intended to secure government and philanthropic support for students and institutions in the independent sector. AICUP further works to create partnerships among its member institutions to enhance their programs and reduce their costs.