States Increase Higher Education Funding By 3.7%
by Michael T Nietzel, Forbes, Feb 4, 2019
…The 50 states appropriated a total of $91.5 billion to support their public universities and financial aid programs in Fiscal Year 2018-19. That’s a 3.7% increase over 2017-18 and an 18.2% increase over Fiscal Year 2013-14, according to Grapevine, the annual report of state higher education spending published by Illinois State University’s Center for the Study of Education Policy in cooperation with the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
This year’s increase continues a five-year trend of annual increases and is more than twice as large as last year’s uptick of 1.6%. While in general, the figures come as good news, reflecting the continuing recovery of state revenues, they mask considerable variation in support for higher education across the states. For example:
The five largest year-over-year increases were in: Colorado (12%), Utah (8.6%), Hawaii (8.5%), Washington (6.8%) and California (6.6%).
Five states decreased their appropriation from 2017-18 levels: South Carolina (-3.7%), Kentucky (-2.4%), Minnesota (-1.4%), Ohio (-.1%) and Alaska (-.1%).
Half the states saw increases of 3% or more for the current year. Over the past five years, nine states enjoyed cumulative increases in higher education funding of more than 30% (Colorado, Hawaii, California, Wisconsin, Oregon, Utah, Florida, Nevada, and Idaho), while seven (Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alaska, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Iowa) experienced five-year decreases.
Grapevine also presents each state’s higher education appropriation relative to its population and per each $1,000 in personal income (the appropriated totals do not include money spent on campus capital projects, auxiliaries and debt service, and they also exclude federal funds and tuition and fees paid by students) .
These results give a clearer picture of the investment each state makes in higher education relative to its capacity, as indexed by its size and wealth. Nationwide, 2018-19 state appropriations for higher education are $280.24 per person and $5.26 per every $1,000 in personal income.
Wyoming spends the most per capita at $666.05, followed by Hawaii ($547.45), North Dakota ($471.65), Alaska ($465.78), and North Carolina ($412.54). Conversely, the lowest per capita higher education spending is in New Hampshire ($94.76 per person), followed by Arizona ($125.79), Pennsylvania ($137.13), Vermont $(152.47), and Missouri ($163.06).
The biggest higher education spender, relative to personal income, was Wyoming ($11.18 per $1,000 in personal income). Next, in order, were Hawaii ($10.11), New Mexico ($10.02), North Carolina ($9.03), and North Dakota ($8.77). The five lowest were New Hampshire ($1.56), Pennsylvania ($2.50), Vermont ($2.86), Arizona ($2.92), and Colorado ($3.10)….
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