Return to Membership Information Institutional Membership - Benefits, Criteria, and Dues

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CIC serves small and mid-sized, non-profit, independent liberal arts colleges and universities.​


Benefits available to Institutional Members include:
  • Reduced Registration Fees—Most CIC programs and seminars are available only to member institutions. Those that are open to nonmembers are available to members at reduced registration fees. These include the Presidents Institute, Institute for Chief Academic Officers, Workshops for Department and Division Chairs, and Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, among others.
  • Workshops, Seminars, and Other Development Programs—CIC organizes workshops, seminars, and other programs for campus leaders and faculty members on a range of topics that address key challenges of independent colleges and universities. Some are open only to members, including the Foundation Conversation, Senior Leadership Academy, Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission Program, Walmart/College Success Awards program, and the faculty seminars in art history, classical texts in general education, and American history. For others, preference is given to applicants from member institutions: at present, these include the Colloquia on Leadership for presidents and chief academic officers, the Aspen/Wye Seminars, the Information Fluency in the Disciplines Workshops, and the College Media Conference. CIC also sometimes partners with other organizations to offer special events, such as the recent Symposium on the Future of the Humanities and the Academia@Apple meeting, and these also give preferences to CIC members.
  • Consortia of College Leaders—All of CIC’s programs aim to facilitate candid and practical exchanges among campus leaders. CIC also forms consortial programs that include face-to-face and online activities. Examples include the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, Engaging Evidence Consortium, Degree Qualifications Profile Consortium, CIC/New York Times Partnership in Education, CIC/Collegiate Learning Assessment Consortium, and the Network for Effective Language Learning.
  • Listservs—CIC maintains listservs to provide secure discussion forums for Institutional Member presidents, chief academic officers, institutional researchers, department chairs, presidential spouses, and others.
  • Tuition Exchange Program (TEP)—Institutional Members are eligible to provide tuition-free enrollment at participating campuses to full-time employees and their family members.
  • Data and Assessment Services—CIC prepares for Institutional Members, free of charge, annual comprehensive Key Indicators Tool and Financial Indicators Tool benchmarking reports on institutional performance. 
  • Research Reports—Members receive relevant copies of CIC research reports on selected topics, including:
    • Independent Colleges and Student Engagement
    • A Study of Career Patterns of the Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities
    • A Study of Chief Academic Officers of Independent Colleges and Universities
    • Business and the Liberal Arts: Integrating Professional and Liberal Education
  • Making the Case—CIC’s website includes a growing collection of statistics, graphs, and other resources such as articles and speeches that can assist member presidents and other campus leaders to make the case for independent higher education in general and for their own institutions.
  • List Requests—Institutional Members can obtain, upon request, mailing lists for specific purposes.
  • News and Publications—Institutional Members receive timely reports and email alerts on critical issues as well as CIC’s newsletter, the Independent. CIC also represents the perspectives of member institutions through published op-eds, articles, press releases, books, and national public information programs. CIC connects presidents of member institutions with key representatives of the national media.


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.

2018–2019 Dues Schedule

​FTE Enrollment
Dues 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.

To Apply

If you are interested in joining, please complete the online application form. For additional information, please contact Kate Webber, CIC director of membership services, at (202) 466-7230 or

Apply Online