FOX BUSINESS: Closing the Door on Public Colleges?

Career College Central Summary:

  • With states seeking to restore financial order, budget woes at public universities may be reaching a tipping point.
  • Lawmakers in South Carolina are pushing for a temporary shutdown of South Carolina State University, hoping to give the 119-year-old school a clean slate. In Ohio, where schools face the possibility of reduced funding, Gov. John Kasich is asking schools to make cuts. Other states such as Wisconsin also are looking for universities to slim down.
  • Today, students cover a larger portion of their attendance costs than taxpayers. Tuition collected by public colleges topped state funding by 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office report published in December.
  • The shift of cost responsibility has made attending college less affordable for students, and schools that don’t counter reduced funding with cuts of their own can quickly dig themselves into a fiscal hole.
  • “State funding in general has not kept up with enrollment or increases in costs for higher education for quite a while,” said Dr. Robert Archibald, an economics professor at the College of William & Mary.
  • Archibald added that S.C. State “could be the canary in the coal mine” for smaller institutions. Few, if any state schools have been forced to close their doors, putting S.C. State in unchartered territory.

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