State College Funding Hasn’t Passed Pre-Recession Levels

Career College Central summary:

  • Forty-eight states are spending less on colleges and universities than before the recession, as recent funding increases haven’t made up for years of cuts that pushed tuition higher, according to a report. Average state spending per student, adjusted for inflation, dropped by $2,026, or 23 percent, since 2008, with funding down in every state except Alaska and North Dakota, according to a report today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Per-student spending in Arizona, Louisiana, and South Carolina was down by more than 40 percent.
  • “State cuts to higher education since the start of the recession have been both severe, and they’ve been widespread,” said Michael Mitchell, an analyst with the Washington-based center, which advocates against cuts to public programs that help lower-income Americans. “In many states, the cuts have been extraordinarily deep.”
  • The figures show the lasting impact of the 18-month recession that ended in 2009, even after rebounding tax collections have helped states increase higher education spending. Colleges have been passing more costs to students. Annual tuition at four-year public colleges has risen by $1,936, or 28 percent, since the 2007-2008 academic year, adjusted for inflation, according to the report. Arizona posted the biggest jump, of 80 percent, while tuition in five other states — Florida, Georgia, California, Hawaii and Washington — climbed by more than 60 percent. The pressure has started to ease.

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