State Spending On Higher Education Rebounds In Most States After Years Of Decline

After falling nearly 11 percent since the 2008 fiscal year, state appropriations for higher education are on the rise in most states. But the long-term effects of budget cuts stemming from the economic downturn still could take years to erase, according to an annual survey.

Over all, states spent just 0.4 percent less on higher education in the fiscal year that began last July 1, compared with the previous year, according to the survey, which was compiled by researchers at Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers. In the previous fiscal year, in 2011-12, state spending on higher education declined 7.5 percent over all.

But in the current fiscal year, 30 states actually increased their appropriations for colleges and financial aid, ranging from 0.1 percent in New Mexico to nearly 14 percent in Wyoming, according to the survey's data.

The overall drop in this year's budgets stemmed from larger cuts in big states, such as Florida, where state lawmakers have decreased higher-education spending by 8 percent.

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