How Has Higher Education Spending Changed in the US?

Higher education spending in the US declined after the 2008 recession, with a nationwide decrease in state funding of 28% from 2008 to 2013. This is roughly the equivalent of spending $2,353 US Dollars fewer per student each year. Arizona and New Hampshire reduced funding the most, by about 50%, during this period. An estimated 53% of funding for higher education comes from state tax revenues, which decreased because there were fewer people in the workforce to pay taxes and because of tax cuts to stimulate the economy. Reduced spending by states often leads to public colleges and universities increasing prices, cutting their own spending or a combination of both. Higher tuition prices and a more competitive job market are thought to have contributed to an increase in student loan debt, which rose by 15% from 2007 to early 2013.

More about higher education costs:

  • Tuition prices increased an average of 27% from 2008 to 2013 — nearly equal to the average nationwide decrease in state funding for higher education.

  • North Dakota and Wyoming were the only states that did not reduce their higher education spending from 2008 to 2013.

  • It has been projected that by 2018, more than 60% of all jobs would require a college education. In 1973, less than 30% of jobs required at least some college education.

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Discussion Comments


Students from India who want to study abroad are forced to spend more dollars as the US administration has reduced or stopped funding education.

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