Financing for Colleges Declines as Costs Rise
"State and local financing for higher education declined 7 percent in fiscal 2012, to $81.2 billion, according to the annual report of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and per-student support dropped 9 percent from the previous year, to $5,896, in constant dollars, the lowest level in at least 25 years," reports The New York Times. “'Tuition revenues are up substantially due to higher prices and more enrollments, but not enough to offset losses of public funding,' said Paul Lingenfelter, the president of the higher education group, based in Boulder, Colo. “Students are paying more, while public institutions are receiving substantially less money to educate them. These one-year decreases in funding and increases in student costs are unprecedented over my 40-year career in higher education.” Mr. Lingenfelter said he was particularly troubled by the long-term trend of shifting the cost of higher education from the public onto students and their families. Over the last 25 years, the share of public university revenues coming from tuition and fees has climbed steadily to 47 percent past year, from 23 percent in 1987. And with ever-higher tuition, full-time college attendance is out of reach for an increasing number of students, which bodes ill for their chances of completing a degree. “We’ve developed a culture that says part-time study is O.K.,” Mr. Lingenfelter said. “But the more you go to school part time, the less likely you are to finish. We should be providing enough assistance that students can pay attention to their education, and not making a living for a short period of time, so they’ll be prepared to make a good living for a long time.”
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