Editor's Note (The View From Here)

The Education Marketplace

Higher education carries a huge price tag. As fees and tuition continue to rise, so does the number of students asking the question, “Is a college education worth it?” According to a recent survey by the College Board, over the past five years, tuition at public four-year colleges is up 27 percent beyond overall inflation. At private schools, the average student’s cost has risen 13 percent beyond overall inflation. Tuition has increased as state funding has decreased, placing the burden directly on families who are now asking the question… has a college education become a luxury that our family cannot afford?

Despite limited funds, colleges still need to provide the services and pay the bills. Adding to the budgeting headache at many of our colleges and universities is President Obama’s plan to evaluate colleges on criteria such as tuition, enrollment of low-income students and student debt incurred — and then tie these ratings to federal aid received. Providing a quality education and creating a world-class learning environment can be a challenge. What is even more of a challenge is accomplishing this without raising tuition. The only way to do it — make every dollar count!

Our September issue is designed to help institutions get the most for their money by helping them evaluate suppliers and examine the wide range of options available to them. College Planning & Management’s Education Marketplace is the most comprehensive directory of products, services and suppliers for education. This year’s directory contains product information from nearly 2,000 suppliers to the education market. To make it easier to use, products are sorted by category, then sub-category. For example, under the main category “Safety and Security,” you will find sub-categories for access control systems, alarms, surveillance cameras, etc.

The Products Index can be found starting on page 13. Find the product category you are interested in, and then flip to the designated page for a list of companies that provide this product. Full contact information for all suppliers in the directory can be found in the Suppliers Index that begins on page 70. The suppliers with bold or enhanced listings support the publication of this guide through their advertising dollars. Product Showcases, starting on page 111, will give you more detailed information about the products and services available to you. To round out this information resource, we have included an article on effective procurement teams that begins on page 8.

Also, the contents of this Buyers’ Guide are available 24/7 on the Education Marketplace website at www.EducationMarketplace.com. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in these pages, new products and suppliers are added to this online, searchable Marketplace almost daily.

Options abound, and you can find them here in this issue — an issue you will use all year long!

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of College Planning & Management.

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