President of College

College President: Education, Salary, and Outlook

The college president oversees all academic and administrative operations within the institution. A college president is the equivalent of a CEO of a large corporation. They must ensure that their institution is successful. This means that a college president must focus on student enrollment and GPAs, while also ensuring that the school stays within its budget.

You will need to have a lot of educational experience to become a college president. Most schools require experience in administration and education. Schools often promote school presidents within their organizations. If your goal is to lead a college or university, you must have a proven track record.

A glance: College president

The responsibilities of a college president are numerous. They are responsible for the overall success of the college’s student body, as well as ensuring that the college’s administrative functions run smoothly. The college president must also ensure that the school is portrayed positively to increase enrollment and ultimately, improve the school’s overall profitability.

Job description: College president

The job description of a college president is extensive and comprehensive. It’s almost impossible to list all the duties that a college president has as they are responsible for the entire operation of their institution. Below are some of the most important responsibilities college presidents have to fulfill:

  • Supervise the school’s faculty and administrative staff
  • Submit an annual budget to the school’s trustees. Once approved, supervise all spending to make sure it is within the budget.
  • Keep school policy intact and make suggestions when necessary
  • Report on student success
  • Prepare reports on enrollment, spending, and other school-related matters
  • Assist in developing curricula and recommending changes, both at school and as a member of active local, state, and national organizations.
  • Participate in the assessment of faculty needs and make recommendations for personnel changes or additions.
  • All activities in the college are directed by you, faculty, administrators, student committees, and other staff.
  • Assign other duties as necessary

What are the characteristics of a college president?

College presidents are experts in their fields. They have risen the ranks in the education system to become the highest-ranking member of the organization. Among the most important qualities shared by successful college presidents are:

  • Superior leadership skills include the ability to delegate diplomatically, and direct employees without micromanaging.
  • Expert knowledge in curriculum development, especially when it comes to majors offered at the school they lead
  • Ability to adjust to sudden changes in policy, funding, or staffing
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Communication skills that allow you to communicate verbally and in writing

In-depth interview with college presidents

College presidents must be educated

A college president must have a postgraduate degree such as a master’s. Many college presidents hold a doctorate such as a Ph.D., EdD.

It is also important to have work experience. The college president will likely have many years of experience in the educational system, with some education and administration experience. They may have worked previously as an academic dean, or as a public officer.

Certificates for college presidents

College presidents have a variety of endorsements and certifications they can apply for to improve their education and skills.

Average salaries for college presidents

The salaries of college presidents vary depending on which school they work for. While those in the prestigious ivy league or other well-known institutions are likely to be paid the most, those who oversee smaller universities and community colleges will typically make less. states that the average annual salary for college presidents in the United States is $82,000 to $486,000. There are also bonuses of $5,000 to $103,000 annually. reports that college presidents earn an average of $150,143 per annum. Ziprecruiter shows that the average salary for university presidents is $73,079 per annum, while Glassdoor lists this at $111,000.

Potential career growth opportunities for college presidents

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a government agency that monitors the growth and salaries of many careers in the U.S. It doesn’t have a database for college presidents but it predicts a 7% increase in job opportunities for post-secondary administrators by 2028.

The pros and cons of being a college president

It is worth considering the prestige associated with being a college president when you make this your career goal. Being a college president is an accomplishment in itself. There are many other things you should consider before deciding to pursue this career path.


  • You have reached the top of your company and are now involved in all operations and initiatives.
  • Staff and students have many opportunities to make a difference in their lives.
  • You can communicate with other high-ranking figures in higher education across the country.
  • You’re likely to be offered a wide range of perks and benefits in addition to your generous salary.


  • It’s your responsibility to find a solution if your school isn’t performing academically or financially.
  • It can feel overwhelming to keep up with all the tasks on your list.
  • You may enjoy spending your time communicating with faculty or other staff but you might also want to spend your days working on reports and other paperwork.
  • You may decide to make personnel changes if one of your employees isn’t performing well.

Professional development opportunities for college presidents

Many academic conferences are held across the U.S., which offer college presidents an opportunity to increase their knowledge about current academic policy and curricula requirements. They also have the chance to network with other school administrators or educators. Members of The Presidents Trust can attend an annual symposium that allows them to share their concerns and strategize.

For college presidents, continuing education

Many college presidents may not have the time to spare, but those who do have the time might consider continuing education programs that will help them as educators or administrators.

Associations for college presidents

There are many associations available in the U.S. that can be used by educators and college administrators. Some are specifically for college presidents, vice Presidents, and academic deans.

  • The President’s Trust
  • Presidents and Provosts Circle
  • Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges and Undergraduate Studies
  • American College Personnel Association
  • National Education Association
  • NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
  • International Association of University Presidents

The best of the internet: college presidents

The internet can be used by college presidents to connect with other professionals and to learn new strategies that could help ensure the success of their schools.