Revenue going down? Check.
Expenses going up? Check.
Rally in stock market only thing keeping them afloat? Check.

Ira Sager writes for Businessweek:

How U.S. Colleges Are Screwing Up Their Books, in Three Charts

You might think that years of galloping tuition used to build new facilities, bigger stadiums, state-of-the-art gyms, and health-conscious dining halls is evidence that U.S. higher education is doing quite well, thank you.

In fact, U.S. colleges and universities are just living beyond their means, new data show.

Two years ago, Jeff Denneen of Bain & Co. and Tom Dretler of Sterling Capital Partners used government data to evaluate the balance sheets of U.S. colleges and universities. They found that one-third “were on an unsustainable financial path.”

This month, Denneen updated the report with the numbers from 2012, the most recent available. The bottom line: Some of the colleges in the deepest trouble in 2010, the year the first study looked at, have edged back from the brink, but at more schools, less money is coming in and more is being spent. “While the growth in costs has slowed in the most recent couple of years, it’s not enough to offset the declines in revenue at most institutions,” according to Denneen.

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How U.S. Colleges Are Screwing Up Their Books, in Three Charts (