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APS COVID-19 Cost Optimization Playbook

This playbook will help you leverage Academic Performance Solutions (APS) data to uncover potential areas for cost optimization to inform your institution’s COVID-19 planning strategy.

Use the APS COVID-19 Cost Optimization Playbook to activate eleven strategies for potential cost optimization.  

The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has struck institutions of every type and the likelihood of ongoing financial pressure from declining fall enrollments, fundraising declines, and/or state funding reductions has pressured institutional leaders to evaluate cost saving opportunities where possible, even in academic affairs.

Unfortunately, many institutions will pursue imprecise across-the-board cuts. But leaders who leverage accurate academic cost data to inform decisions can better support instructional staff and students, as well as institutional goals and mission in response to COVID-19.

Rightsize course and section offerings

An overabundance of small and under-filled sections that are not critical to students’ degree paths consumes an inordinate amount of instructional resources. These resources could potentially be reallocated to higher demand or priority areas to better serve students and instructional staff. The strategies outlined in this portion of the playbook walk you through APS analyses to uncover course section inefficiencies to plan for fall 2020 and beyond.

Single section and low-enrolled courses require instructional resources that could potentially be more efficiently used elsewhere. Full-time instructors can be reassigned to high-demand and necessary courses to support student progress priorities.

Single sections that are offered in multiple terms per year may not need to be offered as often or at all. However, keep in mind that several courses at your institution serve majors, first-, and second-year students who must complete courses as requirements or pre-requisites.

One of the largest opportunities to reduce costs is minimizing unnecessary section offerings in multi-section courses. Using historical enrollment data and projections for upcoming…

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