Federal Dollars Finance Ever-Greater Share of Higher Education, Analysis Shows

June 11, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 11th, 2015

In debating the merits and value of higher education, knowing who pays for what can be an important part of the discussion. When it comes to government funding, the decline in state support is well documented. But a report released on Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows just how much the balance of responsibility has shifted from the states to the federal government.

The report, which includes a state-by-state analysis, shows that from 2000 through 2012 spending from federal sources per full-time-equivalent student increased by 32 percent, while state spending dropped by 37 percent.

"That’s a really significant shift in a very short time," said Phillip Oliff, a manager at Pew, who helped develop the analysis. The balance tipped in 2010.

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