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State funding cuts don’t impact all public colleges equally, report finds

Public colleges and universities enroll 77% of all undergraduates and award 64% of all bachelor’s degrees, notes the report, “Public Universities: The Supply Side of Building a Skilled Workforce.” That’s a significant share of all postsecondary education, and funding for it has taken a hit.

States’ per-student support for higher ed is 13% below 2008 levels, despite overall state general fund spending rising 4.3% for the period, according to a recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Some institutions have responded by raising tuition, which Pew notes increased 43% per student from 2008 to 2018. However, not all institutions can raise prices and still maintain enrollment levels.

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