State Higher Ed Funding Support Continues Decline

New Hampshire cut funding for higher education, including the University of New Hampshire, more than any other state during the past five years. (Getty)

In the past five years, state funding for public colleges has declined by an average of more than $1,000 per-student, according to a report released today (March 6).

New Hampshire and Florida saw the biggest declines in educational appropriations per student between 2007 and 2012, according to the State Higher Education Finance report released by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). Funding decreased by 41 percent in Florida and 51 percent in New Hampshire during that span. North Dakota and Illinois are the only states that increased funding in that time.

To make up for declining state support, colleges raised tuition by an average of 23 percent in that period, according to the College Board. Although many states are working to slow tuition growth, average tuition and fees at public universities reached $8,372 last year, with New Hampshire and Vermont topping the country for highest average tuition at four-year colleges. Net tuition revenue accounts for more than 80 percent of total education revenue in those two states, according to the new report and for just under half of all educational revenue nationally.

“SHEEO’s annual studies document a long-term trend toward shifting more of the burden of financing higher education onto tuition and fees,” Paul Lingenfelter, the group’s president, said in a statement.

The average debt for 2011 graduates of public, four-year colleges was just above $23,000, according to data from the Institute for College Access and Success.


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