NBOA Research Reports

NBOA produces research reports to help business officers, heads of school and other independent school leaders understand key trends in independent school finances and operations that may inform strategic decisions. Some research reports draw on NBOA’s data sets in the Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) platform, and others are produced in collaboration with business partners that serve the independent school community. All research reports are available for FREE to NBOA members. Selected reports are available for nonmembers to purchase. For guidance and thought pieces, see the Industry Guidance page.

Questions? Email research@nboa.org or call 202-407-7140.

Financial State of the Industry

Financial State of the Industry

BIIS Financial and Operational Indicators: Pandemic Years 2019-2021

BIISThis report considers financial and operational data from the first two school years impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some key indicators, such as net tuition revenue, showed a decline, which may be a result of shorter-term challenges. Other indicators, such as operating margin, showed improvement, which may be a result of pandemic-specific funding initiatives. The only research study based on the audited financial statements of independent schools, this report draws on a greatly expanded national data set, thanks to a data collaboration effort with NAIS. It includes an executive summary and analysis of 17 financial indicators in tuition, enrollment, expenses, annual giving and other areas of interest. Analyses are presented for day schools and schools with boarding as well as by school enrollment.

Released: 2022

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Free for members  |  $49 for nonmembers*

Commonfund Study of Independent School Endowments

Each year, NBOA partners with Commonfund Institute to conduct a survey that assesses independent school endowments and their trends. The study explores a number of timely topics, including total returns, asset allocation, spending-and-fund flows, and debt as well as investment management and governance. The data may inform your school’s asset allocation, endowment spending policy and more.

Released: 2022

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Members report year: 2021  |  Nonmembers report year: 2019

Tuition-Discounting-Report

Tuition Discounting Report

For PK-12 Independent Schools

The Tuition Discounting Report analyzes financials from 176 member schools in NBOA’s Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) data platform to understand the trends in tuition discounting from 2018-2020. This research serves as a baseline for tracking the effects of tuition discounting, including need-based financial aid, merit aid and scholarships, and tuition remission, on the financial health of the PK-12 nonprofit independent school industry. This report was inspired by the annual NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study which measures higher education institutional tuition discount rates. The Tuition Discounting Report is published with generous financial support from A. W. G. Dewar Inc.

Released: 2021

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Free for members  |  $49 for nonmembers*

NBOA-Demographics-Survey-2020

Demographics of the Independent School Business Office

Key Research Findings 2020

In support of NBOA’s goals to support diversity, equity and inclusion within our membership, this report explores the background and career path of current business office professionals. Findings touch on demographic markers such as race, gender and educational background as well as professional experience prior to work in an independent school. The report offers insights into business office professionals’ career satisfaction, career goals and needs for professional development. Extensive data on salaries by position and school type is provided.

Released: 2020

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Free for members | Not available to nonmembers

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