Despite Increases, States Spend Less On Higher Ed Than Before Recession

Career College Central summary:

  • While most states have increased their spending for higher education, the majority are still stalled at levels below prerecession spending, according to a new report from Illinois State University. Nationwide, spending for higher education increased by 5.7 percent between fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2014, according to the university's Center for the Study of Education Policy. The annual report shows the change in funding is a significant jump from an overall decline of 0.4 percent between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and from the 7.5 percent decline between fiscal years 2011 and 2012.
  • While the one-year percent change is positive, 35 state higher education systems still operate at levels of state fiscal support that are below what they enjoyed five years ago. Since the Great Recession didn't affect every state equally, the changes in state funding during the last five years have varied widely from state to state. The report's long-term, five-year analysis shows state funding for higher education in Louisiana is nearly 35 percent lower in fiscal year 2014 than it was in fiscal year 2009.
  • Arizona, Nevada and New Hampshire are also still far behind prerecession funding levels, although all increased their funding levels between 2013 and 2014. In fact, New Hampshire had the largest one-year funding percent increase in the nation, at 27.3 percent.

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