State Higher Education Spending Sees Big Decline

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State funding for higher education has declined because of a slow recovery from the recession and the end of federal stimulus money, according to a study released Monday.

Overall, spending declined by some $6 billion, or nearly 8 percent, over the past year, according to the annual Grapevine study by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. The reduction was slightly lower, at 4 percent, when money lost from the end of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act was not taken into account.

The funding reductions, seen across nearly every state, have resulted in larger class sizes and fewer course offerings at many universities and come as enrollment continues to rise.

A report released by the National Science Board last week found similar reductions in state higher education spending, with nearly three-quarters of the nation's 101 top public research universities experiencing cuts in state funding between 2002 and 2010.

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