Higher Education Budget: An Overview of State-Level Expenditures for School Years (SY) 2010-11 to 2015-16

Policy makers and pundits express concern that declines in higher education budgets are making higher education unaffordable for low-income students and their families. Miller’s research shows that, from 2010 to 2012, state fiscal support for higher education fell by nine percent, but this trend reversed in the following three years when state fiscal support began increasing. State-level expenditures for higher education increased 3 percent over a six-year period from School Years (SY) 2010-2016. Over the same period of time, tuition at both two-year and four-year public schools increased an annual average of 3 percent. Miller proposes that while many claim the rise in tuition is due to a decline in state funding, his research proves, regardless of state expenditures, tuition tends to grow at an average of 3 percent each year.

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