Institutional Membership – Benefits, Criteria, and Dues

For independent, baccalaureate degree-granting colleges and universities of liberal arts.

Institutional Member Benefits

  • Leadership Development—Campus leaders and faculty members can participate in programs that allow them to learn from experts and share ideas on a range of timely topics that address key challenges of independent colleges and universities. Most are open only to members while some allow nonmembers to apply while giving preference to members. Among the key programs are:
    • Presidents Institute
    • New Presidents Program
    • Foundation Conversation
    • Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission
    • Institute for Chief Academic Officers
    • Executive Leadership Academy
    • Senior Leadership Academy
    • Workshops for Division and Department Chairs
  • Institutional Development—Member institutions can participate in consortial and campus team programs that aim to implement new campus initiatives by facilitating candid exchanges among key campus leaders. These opportunities include face-to-face networking, online engagement activities, and a complete set of implementation resources for participating institutional teams. Current programs include:
    • Deliberation & Debate
    • Legacies of American Slavery
  • Faculty Development—Faculty members can apply to a range of programs that strengthen teaching, learning, and the quality and rigor of education on their campuses, including:
    • New Currents in Teaching Philosophy
    • Teaching Interfaith Understanding
  • Tuition Exchange Program—Members can offer their employees a benefit program that allows employees and their families at participating institutions to receive tuition-free enrollment at hundreds of participating campuses.
  • Online Course Sharing Consortium—Members can take advantage of an online platform that helps colleges address immediate course availability issues; improve revenue, retention, and completion; streamline payments and reporting; and allow students to meet graduation requirements in a timely manner.
  • Benchmarking Services—Members are provided with annual Key Indicators Tools (KIT) and Financial Indicators Tools (FIT) benchmarking reports, free of charge, that offer comparative institutional performance indicators using federal data on student enrollment, faculty trends, tuition revenue, financial resources, debt management, asset performance, and operating results.
  • Listservs by Campus Role—Member presidents and most cabinet members can participate in secure discussions with their counterparts at other member institutions to collaborate on best practices and to access an archive of documents and material resources.
  • List Requests—Institutional Members can obtain, upon request, mailing lists for specific purposes.
  • Research Reports—Members receive CIC research reports that analyze current trends most relevant to presidents and other leaders of independent colleges and universities.
  • Digest of Recent Research—CIC provides this publication to highlight timely research from scholarly journals and other publications.
  • Media Relations—The perspectives of members are represented through CIC using channels such as published op-eds, articles, press releases, books, and national public information programs. CIC continues to collect and analyze data for timely responses to requests from news media or other organizations for data about independent colleges and universities.
  • News and Publications—Institutional Members receive timely reports and email alerts on critical issues as well as CIC’s newsletter, The Independent.


To qualify for Institutional Membership, an institution must:

  • Be a nonprofit (501(c)3 IRS status), independent, small to mid-sized institution;
  • Offer a program leading to a bachelor of arts degree or its equivalent;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to liberal arts and sciences by such means as requiring for graduation approximately one-third of all courses taken to be in those fields;
  • Offer several areas of concentration in the liberal arts and sciences disciplines, or enroll a large percentage of all students in these programs;
  • Possess at least Candidacy Status of a United States regional accrediting association; and
  • Have been in operation for a minimum of three years.


Dues schedules vary by undergraduate enrollment size (full-time equivalent [FTE] enrollment*) and are set by an annual vote of the membership.

2023–2024 Dues Schedule

FTE EnrollmentDues Assessment

*Using the latest U.S. Department of Education’s IPEDS survey data, you can calculate your FTE for this purpose by adding the number of total full-time undergraduate enrollment to one-third of your part-time undergraduate enrollment; the sum is your total FTE enrollment for the purpose of calculating dues as listed in this table.

For additional information, please contact Faith Brown, CIC membership services and Tuition Exchange Program manager, at (202) 466-7230 or