Barton College

8 min Read

Details

Background 

  • Wilson, North Carolina
  • Four-year, private, co-ed institution 
  • 923 full-time undergraduate and graduate students in Fall 2017
  • 72 full-time faculty
  • Segmented into 8 academic schools
  • Offers 32 undergraduate programs and 4 master’s programs 

Notable Mentions:

  • Financial modeling has helped the University address the problems they have been facing over the last three years.


Challenge

Typically, smaller universities offer undergraduate students tuition at discounted rates. This is no different for Barton College who offers its undergrad students a discounted rate of 48% overall. It is imperative that the executive team at Barton College monitor this discount rate along with managing enrollment growth holistically. 

Before the implementation of Synario, Barton College struggled to build a sustainable business model that managed all aspects of cost, growing revenues, and dealing with infrastructure issues around campus. Changing the universities operating plan to have a sustainable business strategy was necessary because their operating deficits would continue and the funding for their deficits, through restricted resources, would not last forever. 

Solution

Synario offered Barton College a solution to the challenge of modeling a sustainable business plan. The solutions purpose-built tools, features, and functions make it easy to build, modify, and maintain high-performance models. With Synario the executive team at Barton College was also able to:

  • Measure all of the initiatives related to enrollment growth and put them into a comprehensive model so that the full business plan could be made visible and no important elements of the initiatives would be missed. 
  • Use dynamic graphics to evaluate growth expectations for graduate students and visibly see that there will be growth from this category of students. 

"Graphics are very helpful and give us a lot of support in integrating our model"

 

David Browning

executive vice president for administration and finance

 

  • Use the software’s many options to view and present the impacts on their operating margin and changes to net assets.
  • Bring everything together in the scenario analysis aspect of the model.  Different initiatives can be looked at in the view of a capital project while you can the financial statement impacts

Results

In December 2017 the executive team at Barton College spent the day developing initiatives for their new business model. These new initiatives would be presented, with Synario, to their Board of Trustees. This meeting led to significant key decisions being made and the implementation of new initiatives including:  

  • A new football team, with the primary purpose of growing enrollment and capital investments. 
  • Issuing a bond offering to raise capital for the football team