Report Highlights

State and local funding for all higher education reached $100 billion for the first time in fiscal 2019. State tax and non-tax appropriations accounted for 88 percent of those funds, with local tax appropriations contributing 11 percent. The vast majority of state and local support for higher education went to general operations at public institutions (78 percent). Roughly 10 percent of funding was used for research, agricultural extension programs, and medical schools. Another 8.5 percent was allocated for student financial aid at public institutions. Less than 3 percent of all state and local funding supported independent (private) institutions, and most of those funds went to student financial aid.

 

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment i i Net full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time academic year students. FTE excludes medical students. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

There were 10.9 million FTE enrolled students in 2020. Net FTE enrollment declined 0.6% this year, a loss of 68,610 FTE students. 2020 marks the ninth straight year of enrollment declines following substantial enrollment increases during the Great Recession.

Enrollment declined in 35 states and Washington, D.C., between 2019 and 2020. The recent enrollment decline is concentrated at two-year public institutions, which reported a 1.9% decline, while public four-year institutions reported a 0.2% increase in net FTE enrollment.

Education Appropriations Per FTE i i Education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and exclude research, hospitals, and medical education. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

Inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE increased 2.9% in the last year, reaching $8,636. Appropriations increased in 41 states and Washington, D.C., from 2019 to 2020. Education appropriations per FTE ranged from $3,387 in Vermont to $21,802 in Wyoming.

Education appropriations per FTE have increased for eight consecutive years, but these increases have not been large enough to make up for declines during the last two recessions. As a result, education appropriations per FTE in 2020 remain at a lower level than most years prior to the Great Recession’s steep declines.

Nationally, education appropriations remain 6.0% and 14.6% below 2008 and 2001 levels, respectively. Appropriations have fully recovered to at least 2008 levels in 18 states, a large improvement from last year. Still, appropriations in 12 states are at least 20% below 2008 levels, signifying a lack of recovery in education appropriations following the last recession.

While two- and four-year public institutions had similar levels of education appropriations per FTE in 2020 ($8,214 and $8,389, respectively), there were important differences in the sources of their state and local funding:

  • Two-year public institutions received $4,969 per FTE in state general operating appropriations, 67.6% of the four-year general operating appropriation ($7,352).
  • Local appropriations were 1445 times higher at two-year institutions ($2,727) compared to four-year institutions ($19 per FTE). Twenty-nine states had local appropriations for two-year institutions, compared to only seven for four-year institutions.
  • Total state and local support (which includes state research funding) was $8,173 at two-year institutions, 81% of the amount at four-year institutions ($10,092).

State Public Financial Aid Per FTE i i State public financial aid State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans. These funds are included in education appropriations. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

State public financial aid per FTE increased 7.0% from 2019 to 2020 and reached an all-time high of $830 per FTE. These funds made up 9.6% of all education appropriations, the largest proportion since these data were first collected in 2001.

Financial aid has increased steadily despite economic recessions that negatively impacted the rest of education appropriations. Since 2001, financial aid per FTE has increased in all but three years.

Financial aid per FTE increased in 33 states in the last year. In 2020, four states awarded less than $100 per FTE in state financial aid (Arizona, Michigan, Montana, and New Hampshire); another four states awarded over $2,000 per FTE (Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee).

State financial aid awards averaged $477 at two-year institutions, 46.7% of the $1,021 awarded to students attending four-year institutions. The majority of states awarded more financial aid per FTE to students attending four-year institutions.

Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE i i Net tuition revenue Net tuition revenue is the total amount of tuition and fees, minus state and institutional financial aid and medical tuition and fees. Net tuition is affected by changes in tuition rates as well as proportional differences in out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

Public institutions received, on average, $6,726 in net tuition revenue from in-state and out-of-state students in 2020, down 1.0% from last year. The decline in net tuition revenue is due mostly to increases in state public financial aid, but even after considering the effects of financial aid, net tuition revenue per FTE did not keep up with inflation in either of the last two years.

Notably, this is only the second time period with declines in net tuition revenue per FTE since the SHEF dataset began in 1980. Net tuition revenue per FTE has increased 61.7% ($2,566) over the last 20 years.

Net tuition revenue per FTE declined in 26 states and Washington, D.C., between 2019 and 2020. Florida had the lowest net tuition revenue per FTE ($2,360) while Delaware had the highest ($18,242).

In 2020, two-year institutions received $2,606 in net tuition revenue per FTE or 27.8% of the average net tuition revenue per FTE at four-year institutions ($9,385).

Only one state (Florida) has higher average net tuition revenue per FTE in the two-year sector; all other states receive more tuition revenue per FTE from the four-year sector.

Total Education Revenues Per FTE i i Total education revenues Total education revenues refer to the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

Total education revenue increased 1.2% from 2019 to 2020, reaching an all-time high of $15,276 per FTE. This marks the eighth year of total revenue increases following declines during the Great Recession. However, total revenue is not at a record high in more than half of states, and varies substantially by institution type. Many institutions, particularly those that are the most reliant on state funding, have not been able to increase tuition revenue to offset declines in state funding and are not at an all-time high for total education revenue.

Public institutions in seven states and Washington, D.C., have more than $20,000 per FTE in education revenue. These funds are primarily sourced from education appropriations in Alaska, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming, and come mainly from tuition revenue in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, and Michigan.

In 2020, four-year institutions averaged $17,645 in total education revenue per FTE, 1.64 times the amount at two-year institutions. Four-year institutions had less total revenue than two-year institutions in only one state (Wisconsin).

Student Share i i Student share The student share is a measure of the proportion of total education revenues at public institutions coming from net tuition revenue. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

There has been a substantial shift of responsibility for financing public higher education toward net tuition revenue, from 20.9% in 1980 to 44.0% in 2020. The student share increases most rapidly during periods of economic recession, shifting more of higher education costs to students and families. Given this historic trend, we expect that the student share may rise substantially in the coming years following the fiscal year 2020 recession.

In 2020, half of all states had a student share above 50%. From 2019-2020, the student share decreased in 39 states and Washington, D.C. However, over the last 10 years, the student share has increased in 41 states.

At two-year institutions, the average student share was less than a quarter (24.2%). At four-year institutions, the average student share was over half (53.2%). In seven states, the four-year student share is greater than 75%: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

At only 3.1%, California’s community colleges have, by far, the lowest student share of any sector or state in the country. Vermont four-year institutions have the highest student share (88.1%).

Implications

State and local education appropriations per student increased for the eighth straight year in 2020, signifying states’ continued commitment to restore prior funding cuts to higher education. In total, 18 states have reached pre-recession levels, a large improvement from last year when only nine states had met this milestone. Still, 2020 signifies a high point in funding as February 2020 marked a new recession, 1 1State funding for higher education is projected to decline in the next fiscal year. For more information about the expected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession on higher education funding, see the SHEEO analysis of early fiscal year 2021 funding. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES and funding has never been so low at the start of an economic recession.

Public institutions of higher education may be in a more precarious financial situation than at any other time in recent history. Not only are institutions in most states entering this period of uncertainty at historically low levels of state funding, but they face added constraints due to the decline in their other primary revenue source, net tuition revenue. Tuition revenue did not increase enough to keep up with the rate of inflation from 2019 to 2020, and early evidence of continued enrollment declines over the next year suggest that this trend will only accelerate. 2 2National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021). Spring 2021 enrollment (as of Feb 11). https://nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/ VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES With declining revenue from both states and students and after a year of increased costs due to the pandemic and switch to online learning, state support for higher education is crucial for the continued success of our public institutions. While federal stimulus and relief funds are helpful, they are not a replacement for long-term state investments as stimulus funds are time limited and often restricted in their use.

During these uncertain financial times, states and institutions risk undoing recent progress toward state attainment goals, particularly those with a focus on reducing inequality in educational attainment. Students of color and low-income students have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and economic recession, and early estimates suggest enrollment of these same historically underserved populations may be declining faster than among historically privileged students. 3 3National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021). Spring 2021 enrollment (as of Feb 11). https://nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/ VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES 4 4National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021). High school benchmarks COVID-9 special analysis update & correction. https://nscresearchcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021_HSBenchmarksCovidReport.pdf VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES It is critical for states to continue to push for increased equity in attainment through the ups and downs of the economic cycle. Continuing to use higher education as a budgetary release valve as state economies recover from the pandemic recession may undermine student affordability and harm public institutions’ ability to provide quality educational opportunities.

Sources of State Funding

This section provides data and analysis of the sources of state and local government support for higher education over the last 15 years (2005-2020). The funding amounts in this section are not adjusted for inflation or enrollment.

1. National Trends

Table 1.1 shows that state and local government funding for higher education totaled $108 billion in fiscal year 2020, with $428 million in federal stimulus funding. Federal stimulus funding in 2020 comprised just 0.4% of total support. 8 8Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education and includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020. The federal stimulus must be state-allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES States contributed $97 billion, and local governments in 31 states contributed $12 billion, representing increases of 4.5% and 4.3%, respectively. The largest funding source was state tax appropriations, i i State tax appropriations Appropriations from state government taxes for public and private higher education institution and agency annual operating expenses, excluding capital outlay (for new construction or debt retirement) and revenue from auxiliary enterprises. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS which accounted for $91 billion or 83.9% of total funding. Non-tax support (mostly from state lotteries) i i Non-tax support Non-tax support includes any appropriated non-tax state support set aside by the state for higher education. This may include, but is not limited to, allocations from lotteries (including lottery scholarships), tobacco settlements, casinos, or other gaming sources. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 9.1% and totaled nearly $4.4 billion. Non-appropriated support, state-funded endowments, and other sources of state funding contributed an additional $1.1 billion.

Table 1.1

Sources of State and Local Higher Education Funding in the U.S., FY 2005-2020 (Unadjusted Dollars, In Millions)

2005 2010 2015 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Distribution
Federal Stimulus $0 $5,402 $0 $0 $0 $428 0.4%
Tax Appropriations $63,061 $71,491 $78,021 $84,344 $87,927 $91,329 83.9%
Non-Tax Support $2,122 $2,922 $3,231 $3,820 $4,011 $4,377 4.0%
Non-Appropriated Support $111 $79 $118 $125 $141 $167 0.2%
State-Funded Endowment Earnings $292 $401 $483 $560 $647 $665 0.6%
Other $298 $298 $213 $226 $245 $288 0.3%
Funds Not Available for Use $45 $394 $71 $76 $63 $204 0.2%
Total State Support $65,838 $80,200 $81,994 $88,998 $92,909 $97,050 89.2%
Local Tax Appropriations $6,731 $8,837 $9,287 $10,907 $11,298 $11,788 10.8%
Total State and Local Support $72,569 $89,038 $91,281 $99,905 $104,207 $108,838 100.0%
Total State and Local Support (No Stimulus) $72,569 $83,635 $91,281 $99,905 $104,207 $108,410 99.6%
Notes:
  1. Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education and includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020. Federal stimulus must be state-allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions.
  2. Other includes multiyear appropriations from previous years and funds not classified in one of the other source categories.
  3. Funds not available for use include appropriations that were returned to the state, and portions of multiyear appropriations to be spread over other years.
  4. Total state and local support is the sum of federal stimulus funds, state and local tax appropriations, non-tax support, non-appropriated support, state-funded endowment earnings, and other state funds, net of any funds not available for use.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Figure 1.1 shows that the sources of state and local funding have become more diversified since the Great Recession. Before 2008, tax appropriations routinely accounted for 87-88% of higher education support. Since then, tax appropriations are closer to 84-85%, and the portion of revenue from local appropriations i i Local appropriations The sum of all tax appropriations from any government entity below the state level to public institutions for operating expenses. Excludes any grants from local nonprofit organizations such as chambers of commerce, charitable foundations, and other entities. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased by 1.7 percentage points while non-tax sources increased 1.4 percentage points.

The federal government provided states with emergency relief and stimulus funding following the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession in 2020. The SHEF Issue Brief on federal stimulus funding details the different federal funding packages and their allowable uses for higher education for the current and previous recession and explores trends over time in the use of federal stimulus funding for higher education by state.

SHEF Issue Brief: Analysis of Federal Stimulus Funding

info

Tip: Use the filter buttons to customize figures in the SHEF report

Figure 1.1

Distribution of State and Local Higher Education Funding Sources, U.S., FY 2005-2020

Notes:
  1. Tax appropriations are any appropriations from state government taxes to institutions for operations and other higher education activities.
  2. Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education and includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020. Federal stimulus must be state-allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions.
  3. Local appropriations are the sum of tax appropriations from any government entity below the state level to public institutions for operating expenses. Local appropriations do not include grants from local nonprofit organizations such as chambers of commerce and charitable foundations.
  4. Non-tax support includes any appropriated non-tax state support set aside by the state for higher education. This may include, but is not limited to, allocations from lotteries (including lottery scholarships), tobacco settlements, casinos, or other gaming sources.
  5. Other sources include non-appropriated funds, multiyear appropriations from previous years, and funds not classified in one of the other source categories.
  6. In some cases, percentages may add up to more than 100 due to funds not available for use. Funds not available for use are appropriations that were returned to the state and portions of multiyear appropriations to be spread over other years.
  7. Tax appropriations are any appropriations from state government taxes to institutions for operations and other higher education activities.
  8. Non-tax support includes any appropriated non-tax state support set aside by the state for higher education. This may include, but is not limited to, allocations from lotteries (including lottery scholarships), tobacco settlements, casinos, or other gaming sources.
  9. Local appropriations are the sum of tax appropriations from any government entity below the state level to public institutions for operating expenses. Local appropriations do not include grants from local nonprofit organizations such as chambers of commerce and charitable foundations.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. State Comparisons

While the distribution of state and local higher education funding sources varies across the nation, almost all states are heavily reliant on state tax appropriations. In six states (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington), tax appropriations are the only major source of state and local funding for higher education. Another 38 states and Washington, D.C., rely on state tax appropriations for at least 75% of their funding.

Arizona is the only state where the majority of higher education funding did not come from state tax appropriations. Nearly half (47.8%) of higher education funding in Arizona came from local appropriations. Kansas, Michigan, and Oregon were the only other states that relied on local appropriations for at least 20% of higher education funding. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., received no local tax appropriations. 9 9In Washington D.C., district taxes are considered state tax appropriations, not local support. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

Figure 1.2

Percentage of State and Local Higher Education Funding From FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Excludes states with no local funding.
  2. Total state and local support is the sum of federal stimulus funds, state and local tax appropriations, non-tax support, non-appropriated support, state-funded endowment earnings, and other state funds, net of any funds not available for use.
  3. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  4. Tax appropriations are any appropriations from state government taxes to institutions for operations and other higher education activities.
  5. Non-tax support includes any appropriated non-tax state support set aside by the state for higher education. This may include, but is not limited to, allocations from lotteries (including lottery scholarships), tobacco settlements, casinos, or other gaming sources.
  6. Local appropriations are the sum of tax appropriations from any government entity below the state level to public institutions for operating expenses. Local appropriations do not include grants from local nonprofit organizations such as chambers of commerce and charitable foundations.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Several Southern states with financial aid programs funded from lottery dollars were also less reliant on tax appropriations. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina all relied on non-tax support for at least 20% of higher education funding. Meanwhile, 24 states and Washington, D.C., had no non-tax support.

Endowments, non-appropriated, and other sources of state revenue made up 1% or less of higher education funding in all but 12 states and Washington, D.C. Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming were the only states where these revenue sources made up more than 5% of higher education support.

Federal stimulus funding provided to state governments in 2020 was used for higher education in 14 states. These funds comprised less than 5% of total state and local support in all but four states: New Hampshire (17.3%), Wyoming (10.9%), Vermont (9.5%), and Michigan (7.8%).

Several noteworthy trends have emerged as states have become less reliant on tax appropriations over time.

  • Many states are increasingly reliant on local appropriations. Since 2005, the proportion of total funding from local appropriations has increased in 26 states. In seven states (Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas), this proportion has increased by at least 5 percentage points.

  • Similarly, 20 states had increases in non-tax appropriations from 2005 to 2020. In five Southern states (Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee), all with sizable lottery-funded student financial aid programs, non-tax support as a proportion of total funding increased by more than 5 percentage points.

State Spotlight : Arizona

AZ

Between 2001 and 2015, state tax appropriations in Arizona declined from 74% to 48% of all higher education funding. During this time, the portion of funding from local appropriations increased from 26% to 47%. This growing reliance on local appropriations reflected steady disinvestment by the state in public two-year institutions.

In fiscal year 2016, the state eliminated all state funding for the two largest community colleges. 10 10Arizona Joint Budget Committee. (2018). Arizona community colleges general fund appropriations: FY 2010 through FY 2019. https://www.azleg.gov/jlbc/accgfapp.pdf VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES As a result, local appropriations reached 50% of all funding for the first time in 2016. Today, Arizona is the only state with a higher portion of funding coming from local sources than from state tax appropriations.

 

 

Table 1.2

Sources of State and Local Higher Education Funding by State, FY 2020 (Unadjusted Dollars)

State % Tax Appropriations
% Non-Tax Support
% Local Appropriations
% Endowment, Non-Appropriated, and Other Sources % Federal Stimulus Total State and Local Support (Thousands)
Alabama 97.6% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 2.3% $1,817,989
Alaska 99.3% 0.0% 0.3% 0.0% 0.5% $329,437
Arizona 45.4% 0.3% 47.8% 6.6% 0.0% $1,921,712
Arkansas 84.8% 10.1% 3.6% 0.3% 1.2% $1,072,013
California 80.8% 2.8% 16.4% 0.0% 0.0% $19,514,745
Colorado 89.8% 2.3% 7.9% 0.0% 0.0% $1,200,402
Connecticut 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $1,476,375
Delaware 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $256,784
Florida 75.9% 22.8% 0.8% 0.6% 0.0% $5,598,478
Georgia 77.6% 21.2% 0.0% 1.0% 0.2% $3,856,825
Hawaii 99.0% 1.2% 0.0% 0.0% 1.2% $776,897
Idaho 91.2% 0.0% 5.8% 3.1% 0.0% $561,143
Illinois 84.5% 0.0% 15.5% 0.0% 0.0% $5,401,953
Indiana 99.7% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $1,849,927
Iowa 89.4% 0.0% 10.7% 0.0% 0.0% $953,424
Kansas 73.8% 1.1% 25.1% 0.0% 0.0% $1,140,742
Kentucky 76.5% 20.9% 2.3% 0.4% 0.0% $1,172,710
Louisiana 98.2% 0.0% 0.0% 1.8% 0.0% $1,213,742
Maine 98.5% 1.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $318,757
Maryland 82.6% 0.4% 17.0% 0.0% 0.0% $2,639,787
Massachusetts 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $1,740,971
Michigan 69.5% 0.0% 22.7% 0.0% 7.8% $2,549,963
Minnesota 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $1,700,836
Mississippi 94.1% 0.1% 5.7% 0.1% 0.0% $1,020,961
Missouri 76.2% 11.2% 13.9% 1.4% 0.0% $1,233,183
Montana 95.4% 0.0% 3.5% 1.1% 0.0% $268,104
Nebraska 78.0% 3.1% 18.9% 0.0% 0.0% $968,092
Nevada 90.1% 13.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $778,072
New Hampshire 82.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.3% $177,889
New Jersey 92.5% 0.0% 7.5% 0.0% 0.0% $2,680,042
New Mexico 79.5% 3.5% 15.2% 1.8% 0.0% $1,099,802
New York 84.9% 0.0% 15.1% 0.0% 0.0% $7,198,669
North Carolina 93.4% 0.2% 6.0% 0.4% 0.0% $4,637,548
North Dakota 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $379,613
Ohio 91.9% 0.0% 8.1% 0.0% 0.0% $2,492,714
Oklahoma 85.5% 2.7% 5.5% 6.3% 0.0% $909,401
Oregon 78.1% 0.6% 21.3% 0.0% 0.0% $1,237,826
Pennsylvania 92.0% 0.0% 6.6% 0.0% 1.4% $2,005,410
Rhode Island 98.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.0% 0.0% $241,719
South Carolina 62.6% 31.4% 6.1% 0.0% 0.0% $1,338,662
South Dakota 94.3% 1.7% 0.0% 1.0% 3.4% $273,694
Tennessee 76.7% 19.6% 0.0% 3.9% 0.0% $2,196,875
Texas 73.9% 0.6% 19.9% 6.4% 0.0% $9,894,878
Utah 99.3% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $1,226,462
Vermont 88.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.4% 9.5% $107,506
Virginia 98.0% 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 1.0% $2,347,510
Washington 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $2,225,826
West Virginia 95.0% 6.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $518,388
Wisconsin 88.1% 0.0% 14.1% 0.0% 0.0% $1,835,491
Wyoming 74.3% 0.0% 8.8% 6.0% 10.9% $477,740
D.C. 95.6% 0.0% 0.0% 4.4% 0.0% $101,222
U.S. 83.9% 4.0% 10.8% 1.0% 0.4% $108,837,689
Notes:
  1. Federal stimulus includes funding allocated to states for higher education to offset reductions or insufficiency in state appropriations (ARRA, CARES GEER).
  2. In addition to non-appropriated support and state-funded endowment earnings, other sources include multiyear appropriations from previous years and funds not classified in one of the other source categories.
  3. Total state and local support is the sum of federal stimulus funds, state and local tax appropriations, non-tax support, non-appropriated support, state-funded endowment earnings, and other state funds, net of any funds not available for use.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Uses of State Funding

This section provides data and analysis of the uses of state and local government support for higher education over the last 15 years (2005-2020). As with the prior section, this section’s funding amounts are not adjusted for inflation or enrollment. However, unlike the prior section, federal stimulus funding is excluded from uses of state and local funding.

1. National Trends

Table 1.3 shows that, nationally, $84.9 billion or 78.3% of state and local higher education funding was allocated to support general public operations at public institutions. i i General operating The portion of state and local support appropriated directly to public institutions for the purposes of general operations. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS This represents an increase of 3.2% over fiscal year 2019. General public operations include funding directly used to support instruction at two- and four-year public institutions as well as funding to state higher education agencies.

Agency funding is the allocation of operating funds to state-funded, state-level coordinating and governing bodies. These funds have always been included in general public operations but were not available as a breakout until this year. In 2020, states provided $2.38 billion in agency funding (2.8% of all general public operations). Other uses of funding include:

  • Special purpose appropriations for research, agricultural extension programs, public health care services, and medical education (RAM). i i RAM RAM is the portion of total state and local appropriations allocated for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS RAM funds have increased 6.6% since 2019 to $11.3 billion.

  • Student financial aid, i i Total student financial aid Total student financial aid is the sum of any state appropriated student financial aid for public, independent, and out-of-state institutions, excluding loans. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS which increased 8.2% to $11.5 billion. Nearly 79% of total student aid was allocated to students attending public institutions.

  • Operating support for independent (private) institutions, i i Independent operating Sums of state support allocated to independent (private) institutions for operating expenses. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS which increased 8.0% to $276 million, and support for non-credit and continuing education, i i Non-credit State funding for students in continuing or adult education courses (non-credit) and non-credit extension courses which are not part of a regular program leading to a degree or certificate. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS which increased 2.0% to $386 million. Together, these uses of state and local funding constitute 0.6% of higher education funding.

Table 1.3

Uses of State and Local Higher Education Funding in the U.S., FY 2005-2020 (Unadjusted Dollars, In Millions)

Use 2005 2010 2015 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Distribution
General Public Operations $56,586 $64,644 $71,473 $78,740 $82,334 $84,928 78.3%
Agency Funding N/A N/A N/A N/A $2,147 $2,382 2.2%
Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM) $9,048 $9,956 $9,883 $10,524 $10,595 $11,297 10.4%
State Public Financial Aid $4,211 $6,113 $7,108 $7,855 $8,384 $9,079 8.4%
Out-of-State Financial Aid $35 $40 $41 $37 $38 $38 0.0%
Independent Student Aid $2,189 $2,362 $2,248 $2,231 $2,222 $2,405 2.2%
Independent Operating Support $250 $212 $212 $219 $256 $276 0.3%
Non-Credit and Continuing Education $251 $309 $317 $299 $379 $386 0.4%
Total Student Financial Aid $6,435 $8,514 $9,397 $10,127 $10,667 $11,546 10.7%
Total Independent Support $2,439 $2,574 $2,459 $2,451 $2,478 $2,682 2.5%
Total State and Local Support (No Stimulus) $72,569 $83,635 $91,281 $99,905 $104,207 $108,410 100.0%
Notes:
  1. General public operations are any state and local support for public higher education institutions and agencies, excluding RAM, financial aid, and non-credit and continuing education. Federal stimulus funding is not included.
  2. Agency funding is included in general public operations, and is the allocation of operating funds to state-funded, state-level coordinating and governing bodies.
  3. RAM refers to the total appropriations intended for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
  4. Total student financial aid is the sum of any state appropriated student financial aid for public, independent, and out-of-state institutions, excluding loans. Financial aid for students attending medical institutions is included in total student financial aid but excluded from all other student aid categories.
  5. Total independent support is the sum of state funds for private institutions (independent student aid and independent operating support).
  6. Total state and local support is the sum of tax appropriations, non-tax support, local appropriations, non-appropriated support, state-funded endowment earnings, and other state funds, net of any funds not available for use. Federal stimulus funding is not included.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Overall, except for a growing portion of funding allocated to financial aid, the uses of state and local higher education funding have remained relatively constant on a national level over time. Figure 1.3 shows that the most significant change in uses of higher education funding has been with the portion of funding allocated to public financial aid, which increased from 5.8% in 2005 to 8.3% of all state and local support in 2020. Financial aid to students attending independent or out-of-state institutions declined by nearly 1 percentage point over that same time frame, and now accounts for 2.2% of state and local support.

Figure 1.3

Distribution of State and Local Higher Education Funding Uses, U.S., FY 2005-2020

Notes:
  1. General public operating is any state and local support for public higher education not allocated to one of the subsequent categories. Federal stimulus funding is not included.
  2. RAM is the portion of total state and local appropriations allocated for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
  3. Other financial aid includes any state appropriated student financial aid to students attending independent (private) or out-of-state institutions.
  4. Other uses include funding for non-credit and independent operating.
  5. General operating is the portion of state and local support appropriated directly to public institutions for the purposes of general operations.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. State Comparisons

Across the states, there is significant variation in the uses of state and local funding for higher education. However, all states allocated at least half of funding to general public operations in fiscal year 2020. In 21 states and Washington, D.C., at least 80% of funding was allocated for public institutions’ general operations. Over the last 15 years, 30 states decreased the proportion of funding allocated to general public operations.

Forty-five states reported agency funding in fiscal year 2020. Agency allocations ranged from 0.02% of all support in Montana to 19.8% in Connecticut. Agency funding accounted for less than 1% of all support in 25 states. States reporting no agency funding include Michigan, which does not have a statewide board for higher education, and Maine, where the state is not involved in determining budgets for the three higher education systems, and the systems allocate their own funding from their general budgets (which could include state support and/or tuition revenue).

All but one state (Rhode Island) provided state and local support for direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools (RAM). Thirty-two states allocated at least 10% of funding to these areas in 2020, with Mississippi and West Virginia providing more than 25% of total funding to RAM.

Figure 1.4

Percentage of State and Local Higher Education Funding Used for FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Total state and local support is the sum of tax appropriations, non-tax support, local appropriations, non-appropriated support, state-funded endowment earnings, and other state funds, net of any funds not available for use. Federal stimulus funding is not included.
  2. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  3. General operating is the portion of state and local support appropriated directly to public institutions for the purposes of general operations.
  4. RAM is the portion of total state and local appropriations allocated for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
  5. Total student financial aid is the sum of any state appropriated student financial aid for public, independent, and out-of-state institutions, excluding loans.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

State support for student financial aid ranged from 0.5% in Michigan to 34.6% in South Carolina. Four states (Arizona, Hawaii, Michigan, and Montana) allocated less than 1% of funding to student financial aid. Six states (Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont) allocated more than 20% of funding to financial aid. From 2005 to 2020, 38 states increased the portion of total state and local support they appropriated to student financial aid.

Support for independent (private) institutions is generally one of the smallest allocations of state and local funding. While 45 states provided funding to independent institutions, only three states (Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) gave more than 6% of funding to these institutions. In these states, funding for independent institutions was predominantly allocated to student financial aid rather than institutional operating appropriations.

Each year, states provide funding to private higher education institutions through both general operating appropriations and student financial aid. However, these funds are excluded from most SHEF analyses, which focus on public institutions. The SHEF Issue Brief on state funding for private institutions provides an overview of how these funds vary across states and have changed over time.

SHEF Issue Brief: State Funding for Private Institutions

Table 1.4

Uses of State and Local Higher Education Funding by State, FY 2020 (Unadjusted Dollars)

State % General Public Operations
% Agency Funding % Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM)
% Total Student Financial Aid
% Total Independent Support
Total State and Local Support (No Stimulus, in Thousands)
Alabama 72.3% 0.8% 20.3% 5.9% 1.3% $1,775,709
Alaska 85.5% 0.0% 9.1% 5.3% 0.4% $327,937
Arizona 88.2% 0.1% 11.0% 0.8% 0.0% $1,921,712
Arkansas 66.6% 0.3% 21.6% 11.8% 1.3% $1,059,013
California 86.1% 0.1% 5.2% 8.7% 0.7% $19,514,745
Colorado 68.1% 0.6% 13.6% 18.3% 0.9% $1,200,402
Connecticut 77.8% 19.8% 19.9% 2.3% 0.4% $1,476,375
Delaware 89.9% 0.1% 3.8% 6.3% 0.1% $256,784
Florida 71.3% 0.2% 8.5% 19.8% 5.2% $5,598,478
Georgia 68.4% 8.7% 10.1% 20.9% 2.3% $3,849,017
Hawaii 85.5% 9.3% 13.6% 0.9% 0.0% $767,495
Idaho 85.1% 13.7% 10.4% 4.5% 0.5% $561,143
Illinois 87.3% 1.5% 3.4% 8.3% 3.4% $5,401,953
Indiana 66.1% 0.6% 14.6% 19.2% 5.2% $1,849,927
Iowa 78.4% 0.1% 13.8% 7.8% 5.2% $953,424
Kansas 78.4% 0.4% 19.3% 2.6% 0.8% $1,140,742
Kentucky 65.4% 0.6% 12.1% 20.9% 5.9% $1,172,710
Louisiana 51.4% 5.9% 21.3% 27.5% 2.0% $1,213,742
Maine 85.2% 0.0% 9.6% 5.2% 1.0% $318,757
Maryland 82.0% 0.2% 11.1% 4.6% 3.0% $2,639,787
Massachusetts 90.1% 0.7% 3.3% 6.3% 2.4% $1,740,971
Michigan 92.9% 0.0% 6.6% 0.5% 0.3% $2,349,963
Minnesota 72.9% 3.6% 12.1% 12.2% 7.1% $1,700,836
Mississippi 67.8% 1.3% 27.8% 4.5% 0.4% $1,020,961
Missouri 88.5% 0.0% 1.1% 10.4% 2.0% $1,233,183
Montana 84.6% 0.0% 14.6% 0.9% 0.0% $267,978
Nebraska 75.7% 0.1% 21.7% 2.2% 0.8% $968,092
Nevada 73.3% 3.2% 12.7% 13.2% 0.0% $778,072
New Hampshire 88.6% 0.3% 8.7% 2.7% 0.3% $147,134
New Jersey 69.8% 0.1% 10.5% 19.6% 5.3% $2,680,042
New Mexico 85.2% 0.4% 12.4% 2.2% 0.0% $1,099,802
New York 79.1% 1.0% 6.7% 13.8% 4.3% $7,198,669
North Carolina 78.3% 1.4% 11.4% 7.0% 3.9% $4,637,181
North Dakota 70.8% 8.0% 23.2% 5.3% 1.4% $379,613
Ohio 83.6% 0.6% 8.9% 6.4% 2.1% $2,492,714
Oklahoma 65.6% 0.9% 15.4% 12.4% 1.1% $909,401
Oregon 82.4% 1.0% 9.8% 7.8% 0.5% $1,237,826
Pennsylvania 75.2% 0.2% 4.5% 18.7% 8.3% $1,977,410
Rhode Island 94.3% 17.8% 0.0% 5.2% 2.6% $241,719
South Carolina 52.2% 2.0% 12.2% 34.6% 7.4% $1,338,662
South Dakota 78.1% 8.2% 17.4% 4.5% 0.6% $264,492
Tennessee 59.8% 1.8% 15.6% 24.6% 4.8% $2,196,875
Texas 77.4% 7.5% 18.7% 3.9% 0.9% $9,894,878
Utah 84.9% 0.6% 11.8% 2.9% 0.5% $1,226,462
Vermont 60.7% 0.0% 19.9% 20.0% 4.4% $97,267
Virginia 73.2% 0.3% 10.5% 14.8% 4.4% $2,324,325
Washington 77.4% 1.2% 4.7% 17.9% 2.5% $2,225,826
West Virginia 53.7% 1.9% 26.7% 19.6% 1.4% $518,388
Wisconsin 82.4% 6.0% 9.2% 8.0% 2.0% $1,835,491
Wyoming 83.2% 0.8% 9.8% 6.4% 0.0% $425,489
D.C. 89.2% 0.0% 6.4% 4.4% 0.0% $101,222
U.S. 78.3% 2.2% 10.4% 10.7% 2.5% $108,409,575
Notes:
  1. Percentages do not add up to 100 because (a) this table does not include funds allocated to non-credit and continuing education, and (b) state financial aid to independent institutions is included in both total student financial aid and total independent support.
  2. General operating is the portion of state and local support appropriated directly to public institutions for the purposes of general operations.
  3. Total student financial aid is the sum of any state appropriated student financial aid for public, independent, and out-of-state institutions, excluding loans.
  4. Total independent support is the sum of state funds for private institutions (independent student aid and independent operating support).
  5. Total state and local support is the sum of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, tax appropriations, non-tax support, local appropriations, non-appropriated support, state-funded endowment earnings, and other state funds, net of any funds not available for use.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA)
adjusts for inflation over time

Cost of Living Index (COLI)
accounts for cost of living differences among the states

Enrollment Mix Index (EMI)
adjusts for differences in the mix of enrollments across institutions resulting in different costs across the states (e.g., at community colleges or more expensive research institutions).

 

1. National Trends

Table 2.1 shows the effects of FTE enrollment i i Net full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time academic year students. FTE excludes medical students. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS and inflation on the SHEF metrics. The progression shown in this table is a starting point for understanding the national story of public higher education funding from state and local sources, tuition revenue from students and families, and enrollment over time. Note that the state adjustments (COLI and EMI) do not impact the U.S. average.

The first section of Table 2.1 shows that in unadjusted dollars (without adjusting for inflation or enrollment), education appropriations i i Education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and exclude research, hospitals, and medical education. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 4.1% over 2019. Both subcomponents of education appropriations also increased, 3.2% for general public operations and 8.3% for state public financial aid. Unadjusted net tuition revenue i i Net tuition revenue Net tuition revenue is the total amount of tuition and fees, minus state and institutional financial aid and medical tuition and fees. Net tuition is affected by changes in tuition rates as well as proportional differences in out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 0.2%.

The middle section of Table 2.1 shows that the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA), a measure of inflation in service industries, increased 1.8% from 2019 to 2020. After applying HECA and therefore removing any increases due to inflation, we see reductions in the single-year increases in education appropriations and its components and a 1.6% decline in net tuition revenue. 12 12Net tuition revenue declines are generally due to increases in state-funded financial aid, declines in enrollment, and/or declines in the proportion of students paying higher rates of tuition, like out-of-state or international students. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

The changes described above may be misleading if not contextualized with changes in FTE enrollment, shown in the final section of Table 2.1. In the last year, enrollment declined 0.6% or about 68,600 FTE students. After adjusting for both inflation and enrollment, we see that education appropriations increased 2.9% (general public operations increased 2.0%, financial aid increased 7.0%), while net tuition revenue decreased 1.0% and total education revenue i i Total education revenues Total education revenues refer to the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 1.2% per FTE.

This year marks the fourth ever decrease in inflation-adjusted net tuition revenue per FTE since the beginning of the SHEF dataset in 1980. Net tuition revenue per FTE has only declined in 2000 (2.6%), 2001 (1.3%), 2019 (3.2%), and now 2020 (1.0%). This decline is due to decreased enrollment in the two-year sector and financial aid increases across both sectors.

Figures described here and reported in Table 2.1 include federal stimulus funding in fiscal year 2020.

Measurement Note: Federal Stimulus Funding

In most cases, federal stimulus funding reported in 2020 comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER Fund), a part of the CARES Act. States also included funds allocated to higher education from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). In many states, funds were used to help institutions deal with increased expenses due to the pandemic. For example, in Alabama, a portion of stimulus funds were used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and help institutions transfer to remote learning. Federal stimulus funds are included in state-level education appropriations and total education revenue but are not counted as part of sector-level education appropriations or general operating appropriations because of the way these data are collected.

Table 2.1

Impact of Inflation and Enrollment on SHEF Metrics, U.S., FY 1980-2020

1980 2001 2010 2015 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 % Change Since 2015 % Change Since 2010 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Current Unadjusted Dollars (Millions)
State Public Financial Aid N/A $2,834 $6,113 $7,108 $8,384 $9,079 8.3% 27.7% 48.5% 220.4% N/A
General Public Operations N/A $53,269 $64,644 $71,473 $82,334 $84,928 3.2% 18.8% 31.4% 59.4% N/A
Total Education Appropriations $16,134 $56,102 $76,159 $78,581 $90,695 $94,411 4.1% 20.1% 24.0% 68.3% 485.2%
Net Tuition Revenue $4,264 $22,789 $49,929 $67,258 $73,405 $73,528 0.2% 9.3% 47.3% 222.6% 1624.5%
Total Education Revenue $20,398 $78,780 $125,562 $145,024 $163,199 $167,006 2.3% 15.2% 33.0% 112.0% 718.7%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (Millions)
HECA 0.2671 0.6372 0.8204 0.9015 0.9823 1.0000 1.8% 10.9% 21.9% 56.9% 274.3%
State Public Financial Aid N/A $4,447 $7,451 $7,885 $8,535 $9,079 6.4% 15.1% 21.8% 104.2% N/A
General Public Operations N/A $83,592 $78,799 $79,282 $83,814 $84,928 1.3% 7.1% 7.8% 1.6% N/A
Total Education Appropriations $60,396 $88,039 $92,836 $87,167 $92,326 $94,411 2.3% 8.3% 1.7% 7.2% 56.3%
Net Tuition Revenue $15,961 $35,762 $60,862 $74,606 $74,725 $73,528 -1.6% -1.4% 20.8% 105.6% 360.7%
Total Education Revenue $76,358 $123,626 $153,056 $160,869 $166,134 $167,006 0.5% 3.8% 9.1% 35.1% 118.7%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (Per FTE)
FTE Enrollment 6,852,242 8,709,255 11,384,682 11,118,040 11,001,099 10,932,489 -0.6% -1.7% -4.0% 25.5% 59.5%
State Public Financial Aid N/A $511 $654 $709 $776 $830 7.0% 17.1% 26.9% 62.6% N/A
General Public Operations N/A $9,598 $6,922 $7,131 $7,619 $7,768 2.0% 8.9% 12.2% -19.1% N/A
Total Education Appropriations $8,814 $10,109 $8,154 $7,840 $8,392 $8,636 2.9% 10.1% 5.9% -14.6% -2.0%
Net Tuition Revenue $2,329 $4,106 $5,346 $6,710 $6,792 $6,726 -1.0% 0.2% 25.8% 63.8% 188.7%
Total Education Revenue $11,143 $14,195 $13,444 $14,469 $15,102 $15,276 1.2% 5.6% 13.6% 7.6% 37.1%
Notes:
  1. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  2. State public financial aid is the part of education appropriations used for student financial aid at public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools.
  3. General public operations are any state and local support for public higher education institutions and agencies, excluding RAM, financial aid, and non-credit and continuing education. Federal stimulus funding is not included.
  4. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  5. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  6. Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding.
  7. The years 1980 and 2001 are included in this table because they are the starting points of the historical SHEF dataset and modern SHEF data collection, respectively.
  8. The Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA) estimates inflation in the costs paid by colleges and universities. HECA adjusts for inflation from the state perspective.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Trends

Table 2.1A marks the SHEF report’s first release of detailed sector-level data for the primary SHEF metrics. i i Sector Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS Modeled after Table 2.1, we show the impacts of inflation and enrollment on sector-level revenue at public institutions. Currently, only data for 2019 and 2020 are available. In future years, this table will expand to show longer trends over time.

In unadjusted dollars, education appropriations increased 2.3% at two-year institutions and 4.0% at four-year institutions. Sector-level education appropriations consist of state public financial aid, i i State public financial aid State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans. These funds are included in education appropriations. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS state public operating appropriations, i i Sector-level state public operating State operating appropriations are a measure of state support directly allocated to public two- and four-year institutions. State operating excludes federal stimulus, local appropriations, agency funding, research, hospitals, and medical education, and student financial aid. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS and local appropriations. State public financial aid increased substantially across institution types, but state public operating was largely flat (0.6% increase) at two-year institutions yet increased 3.5% at four-year institutions. On the other hand, local appropriations (which primarily support community colleges) increased 4.4% at two-year institutions but were flat (0.1% increase) at four-year institutions. Four-year institutions also receive research, agricultural, and medical (RAM) appropriations, which increased 6.6% from 2019-2020.

The sector-level data show that the national decline in net tuition revenue is concentrated at two-year public institutions; unadjusted net tuition revenue declined 3.5% at two-year institutions and increased 1.5% at four-year institutions.

The second section of Table 2.1A shows that state public operating appropriations failed to keep up with inflation at two-year institutions (a 1.2% decline), and local appropriations failed to keep up with inflation at four-year institutions (a 1.7% decline). However, net FTE enrollment declined 1.9% at two-year institutions but increased 0.2% at four-year institutions. After considering changes in net FTE enrollment in the third section of the table, we see that in constant inflation-adjusted dollars per FTE enrollment,

  • State public financial aid increased by $41 per FTE at two-year institutions and $57 per FTE at four-year institutions.

  • State public operating increased $35 per FTE at two-year institutions and $103 per FTE at four-year institutions.

  • Local appropriations increased $119 at two-year institutions and were flat (less than $1 per FTE decline) at four-year institutions.

  • Research, agricultural extension, and medical appropriations only available to four-year institutions increased by $73 per FTE.

  • Net tuition revenue declined by $92 per FTE at two-year institutions and $51 per FTE at four-year institutions.

  • Total education revenue per FTE increased $104 and $108 at two- and four-year institutions, respectively.

Additional analysis of sector-level trends on these metrics can be found throughout the remainder of the SHEF report.

Table 2.1A

Impact of Inflation and Enrollment on SHEF Metrics by Sector, U.S., FY 2019-2020

Two-Year Four-Year
2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019
Current Unadjusted Dollars (Millions)
State Public Financial Aid $1,867 $2,041 9.3% $6,288 $6,798 8.1%
State Public Operating $21,135 $21,254 0.6% $47,298 $48,942 3.5%
Local Appropriations $11,173 $11,662 4.4% $126 $126 0.1%
Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM) $0 $0 N/A $10,595 $11,297 6.6%
Total State and Local Support $34,175 $34,958 2.3% $64,329 $67,186 4.4%
Total Education Appropriations $34,175 $34,958 2.3% $53,712 $55,865 4.0%
Net Tuition Revenue $11,556 $11,147 -3.5% $61,570 $62,480 1.5%
Total Education Revenue $45,638 $46,015 0.8% $114,434 $117,469 2.7%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (Millions)
HECA 0.9823 1.0000 1.8% 0.9823 1.0000 1.8%
State Public Financial Aid $1,901 $2,041 7.4% $6,401 $6,798 6.2%
State Public Operating $21,515 $21,254 -1.2% $48,149 $48,942 1.6%
Local Appropriations $11,373 $11,662 2.5% $128 $126 -1.7%
Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM) $0 $0 N/A $10,785 $11,297 4.7%
Total State and Local Support $34,789 $34,958 0.5% $65,486 $67,186 2.6%
Total Education Appropriations $34,789 $34,958 0.5% $54,678 $55,865 2.2%
Net Tuition Revenue $11,764 $11,147 -5.2% $62,677 $62,480 -0.3%
Total Education Revenue $46,458 $46,015 -1.0% $116,492 $117,469 0.8%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (Per FTE)
FTE Enrollment 4,361,016 4,277,443 -1.9% 6,642,373 6,657,237 0.2%
State Public Financial Aid $436 $477 9.5% $964 $1,021 6.0%
State Public Operating $4,934 $4,969 0.7% $7,249 $7,352 1.4%
Local Appropriations $2,608 $2,727 4.5% $19 $19 -1.9%
Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM) $0 $0 N/A $1,624 $1,697 4.5%
Total State and Local Support $7,977 $8,173 2.4% $9,859 $10,092 2.4%
Total Education Appropriations $7,977 $8,173 2.4% $8,232 $8,392 1.9%
Net Tuition Revenue $2,698 $2,606 -3.4% $9,436 $9,385 -0.5%
Total Education Revenue $10,653 $10,758 1.0% $17,538 $17,645 0.6%
Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. State operating appropriations are a measure of state support directly allocated to public two- and four-year institutions. State operating excludes local appropriations, agency funding, RAM, and student financial aid.
  3. Local appropriations are any local government taxes allocated directly to institutions for operating expenses.
  4. RAM refers to the total appropriations intended for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
  5. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding.
  6. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  7. Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding.
  8. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  9. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
  10. The Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA) estimates inflation in the costs paid by colleges and universities. HECA adjusts for inflation from the state perspective.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Education Revenues

The historical data in Figure 2.1 (the wave chart) demonstrate the economic cycle’s impact on public higher education revenue from 1995 to 2020. From this point forward, all dollar figures in the SHEF report are adjusted for inflation and net FTE enrollment.

1. National Trends

The red line in the wave chart shows FTE enrollment, i i Net full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time academic year students. FTE excludes medical students. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS which has broadly increased over time from 6.85 million in 1980 to 10.93 million in 2020. Enrollment traditionally increases sharply during recessions and levels off or declines during economic recoveries—2020 is the ninth straight year of enrollment declines, although annual declines have been less than 1% since 2015. Overall, enrollment is down 6.2% or 727,605 FTE since its peak in 2011.

The blue bars show change over time in education appropriations i i Education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and exclude research, hospitals, and medical education. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS per FTE enrolled student. State education appropriations are made up of general operating funds for public institutions, state public financial aid, and state agency funding. The bars make the shape of a wave over time because per-student education appropriations generally fluctuate with the economic cycle. Education appropriations also include federal stimulus funding during the last two economic recessions. Stimulus funds can be broken out from the rest of education appropriations by expanding Figure 2.1.

  • Twenty years ago in fiscal year 2000, education appropriations reached a high of $10,207 per FTE. Education appropriations have since declined over time, and in 2020 averaged $8,636, down 15.4% ($1,571 per student) from 20 years ago.

  • The downward trend in education appropriations has not been linear. Funding reached a record low of $7,039 in 2012 following declines during the Great Recession. Since that time, appropriations have increased for eight consecutive years. Over the last year, education appropriations increased 2.9% beyond inflation ($243 per FTE) to $8,636.

  • Overall, appropriations have increased 22.7% or $1,596 per FTE since the low point in 2012. Still, states have only recovered about three-quarters (74.3%) of the total $2,149 decline in education appropriations per FTE seen during the Great Recession.

The green bars in Figure 2.1 show net tuition revenue i i Net tuition revenue Net tuition revenue is the total amount of tuition and fees, minus state and institutional financial aid and medical tuition and fees. Net tuition is affected by changes in tuition rates as well as proportional differences in out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS per FTE over time. Net tuition revenue measures tuition and fee revenue at public institutions, excluding state and institutional financial aid. Unlike education appropriations, net tuition has increased steadily over time, with an average annual increase of 2.7% above inflation since 1980. However, after reaching an all-time high in 2018, tuition revenue per FTE decreased 3.2% in 2019 and another 1.0% in 2020. Notably, this is only the second time period in which there have been declines in net tuition revenue per FTE since the SHEF dataset began in 1980. Prior to the last two years, the only times net tuition revenue per FTE declined were fiscal years 2000 and 2001, the two years immediately preceding an economic recession.

The total of the bars in the wave chart shows the approximate total education revenue available to public institutions on a per-student level. Total education revenue i i Total education revenues Total education revenues refer to the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS combines the two primary funding sources for public higher education—education appropriations and net tuition. In 2020, total revenue increased 1.2% to $15,276 per FTE, an all-time high. On average, institutions have more than made up for recessionary declines in education appropriations by increasing net tuition revenue.

Figure 2.1

Public FTE Enrollment, Education Appropriations Per FTE, and Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE, U.S., FY 1995-2020

Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  2. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  3. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  4. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  6. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Economic recessions deeply impact state funding for higher education. Higher education is viewed as a discretionary item in state budgets and is disproportionately cut compared to other state budget areas. 13 13Delaney, J., & Doyle, W. (2011). State spending on higher education: Testing the balance wheel over time. Journal of Education Finance, 36(4). http://www.jstor.org/stable/23018116 VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES During economic recessions, state funding declines as states either cut funding to higher education or fail to keep up with inflation and enrollment changes. Over time, funding declines due to economic recessions have chipped away at the base of state support for higher education.

Figure 2.2 provides a more detailed look into the impact of economic recessions on state higher education appropriations. In this figure, we begin each recessionary period at zero and track the cumulative percent change over the course of the economic recession and recovery. 14 14The Great Recession led to dramatic changes in the way public institutions finance higher education. The 2019 SHEF Issue Brief on post-recession trends provides an analysis of how well states have recovered from the Great Recession. We consider the depth of cuts in state funding, recovery of total education revenue and the sources of that recovery, and state financial aid changes. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES With each recession, state support declines per FTE have grown steeper, and recoveries have become slower and incomplete. During and immediately following recessions in the early 1980s and 1990s, per-student education appropriations declined a cumulative 6.0% and 11.7%, respectively. However, following those earlier recessions, states increased support to surpass prior levels, reaching 10.4% and 6.5% above pre-recession levels. Such increases meant that public institutions were well positioned to handle future declines in state funding.

This pattern changed after the tech bust in 2001, when state funding declined 17.1% and never completely recovered. After just a few years of increases, education appropriations per FTE were again impacted by the Great Recession. Despite federal stimulus funding, included in Figure 2.2, per-student funding declined a cumulative 25.7%, reaching an all-time low in 2012. Today, despite eight years of increases and as we enter an expected period of state funding declines following the 2020 economic recession, 15 15For more information about the expected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession on higher education funding, see the SHEEO analysis of early fiscal year 2021 funding: https://sheeo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/SHEEO_Analysis_FiscalYear2021_State_Funding.pdf. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES education appropriations remain 14.6% below 2001 and 6.0% below 2008.

Figure 2.2

Cumulative Annual Percent Change in Education Appropriations per FTE Following Economic Recessions, U.S., FY 1980-2019

Notes:
  1. Cumulative annual percent change calculated since the start of each recession (1980, 1990, 2001, and 2008).1
  2. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.2
  3. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.3
  4. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. State Comparisons

Education appropriations and net tuition revenue per FTE vary considerably by state. Figure 2.3 and Table 2.2 provide an expanded view of the Figure 2.1 wave chart for all states in fiscal year 2020. States range widely in their total revenue (the sum of the blue and green bars) and the distribution of revenue that comprises that total. For example, Florida has the lowest total revenue per FTE, but 76.6% of total revenue comes from state funding. Louisiana has similar total revenue, and only 52.9% of funding comes from education appropriations. At the other end of the spectrum, Delaware and Wyoming have some of the highest total revenues yet they could not be more different in where they get those funds from: the state provides 24.7% of revenue in Delaware compared to 85.5% in Wyoming.

Figure 2.3

Education Appropriations and Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding.
  2. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  3. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  4. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 2.2

Public FTE Enrollment, Education Appropriations per FTE, and Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by State, FY 2019 (Adjusted)

FTE Enrollment
Education Appropriations
Net Tuition Revenue
Total Education Revenue
Alabama 205,948 $8,023 $14,513 $21,630
Alaska 15,051 $16,128 $4,879 $21,007
Arizona 314,834 $5,480 $8,397 $13,531
Arkansas 111,155 $8,788 $7,233 $13,734
California 1,607,937 $9,531 $2,799 $12,330
Colorado 183,702 $5,140 $10,608 $15,748
Connecticut 81,422 $11,965 $11,998 $23,963
Delaware 35,571 $5,971 $18,242 $24,021
Florida 630,884 $7,714 $2,360 $10,074
Georgia 358,669 $10,348 $5,181 $15,526
Hawaii 34,736 $14,735 $4,889 $19,624
Idaho 55,155 $9,910 $3,963 $13,873
Illinois 312,151 $17,669 $8,119 $25,476
Indiana 245,224 $6,388 $10,062 $16,220
Iowa 119,917 $6,608 $10,433 $17,041
Kansas 129,622 $7,376 $7,217 $14,593
Kentucky 141,103 $7,535 $8,994 $16,254
Louisiana 165,480 $6,143 $5,462 $11,605
Maine 34,005 $8,102 $7,264 $15,366
Maryland 221,419 $8,800 $7,685 $16,485
Massachusetts 156,878 $8,728 $5,871 $14,599
Michigan 357,275 $7,630 $15,167 $22,796
Minnesota 180,441 $8,055 $9,914 $17,969
Mississippi 127,142 $7,166 $8,280 $15,446
Missouri 163,408 $8,819 $7,714 $16,533
Montana 35,237 $6,757 $7,510 $14,267
Nebraska 73,833 $10,485 $7,073 $17,306
Nevada 72,145 $9,430 $3,043 $12,472
New Hampshire 34,695 $4,321 $10,513 $14,834
New Jersey 261,616 $7,735 $7,301 $15,037
New Mexico 71,365 $14,268 $4,009 $18,277
New York 524,387 $12,252 $6,279 $18,531
North Carolina 403,093 $10,742 $5,146 $15,889
North Dakota 32,660 $8,874 $9,435 $18,309
Ohio 385,027 $6,432 $9,797 $16,228
Oklahoma 126,370 $6,393 $8,699 $15,092
Oregon 137,801 $6,977 $7,853 $14,830
Pennsylvania 322,144 $5,412 $10,676 $16,088
Rhode Island 30,099 $6,878 $9,728 $16,606
South Carolina 168,422 $6,586 $11,187 $17,225
South Dakota 31,962 $7,704 $8,865 $16,077
Tennessee 186,845 $10,969 $6,959 $17,647
Texas 1,071,308 $8,147 $5,522 $13,669
Utah 127,833 $8,399 $6,509 $14,908
Vermont 20,562 $3,387 $15,330 $18,119
Virginia 301,730 $6,519 $8,665 $15,097
Washington 230,583 $8,610 $5,895 $14,505
West Virginia 65,445 $5,905 $7,315 $12,272
Wisconsin 206,545 $8,276 $6,980 $15,256
Wyoming 21,653 $21,802 $3,691 $25,455
D.C. 3,176 $21,328 $6,001 $27,329
U.S. 10,932,489 $8,636 $6,726 $15,276
Notes:
  1. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  2. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education.
  3. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  4. Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service.
  5. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  6. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI), Enrollment Mix Index (EMI), and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The District of Columbia is not adjusted for COLI or EMI.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

State Spotlight : Illinois

IL

Education appropriations per FTE in Illinois continue to be an outlier at 2.05 times the U.S. average and 35.6% above pre-recession levels. The significant increase in appropriations over the last decade is driven entirely by the state’s efforts to address its historically underfunded state retirement pension system.

In 2020, 36.8% of all education appropriations in Illinois went to their state retirement pension system. Of the $1.85 billion in pension payments, 77% was used for unfunded past liabilities, not current employees. This means that even after considering additional funding from local governments, over one quarter (28.6%) of all education appropriations in Illinois are now spent on past pension obligations and are not available for use in 2020. This translates to roughly $4,500 per FTE student, more than the entire per-FTE appropriation in either New Hampshire or Vermont.

A SHEF Issue Brief on Illinois from the 2018 SHEF report provides more detail on the funding situation in Illinois.

3. Sector Comparisons

Public higher education revenue also varies across public two-year and public four-year institutions. Figure 2.4 provides a look at all-new data showing the wave chart for two-year and four-year institutions separately.

As shown in Figure 2.4, education appropriations i i Sector-level education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS at two-year public institutions are slightly below the per-FTE levels at four-year institutions ($8,173 and $8,392, respectively). 16 16There are two differences in education appropriations between the state and sector levels. The state-level data include agency funding and federal stimulus funds, while sector-level data do not. In a few states, some uncategorizable state support and uncategorizable financial aid are not allocated to either sector. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES In large part, the narrow difference in education appropriations per FTE between two- and four-year public institutions is because SHEF data reported here include local appropriations, which primarily serve two-year institutions but do not include research-agricultural extension-medical funding (RAM), which is exclusively appropriated to four-year institutions. In addition, SHEF metrics use FTE enrollment rather than student head count, and two-year institutions have a far greater proportion of part-time students. 17 17According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in fall 2020, an estimated 37% of two-year students (at both public and private institutions) attended full-time, compared to 75% at four-year institutions. Source: Table 303.70, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d19/tables/dt19_303.70.asp VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

Unlike education appropriations, net tuition revenue is very different at two- and four-year institutions. On average, two-year institutions received $2,606 in net tuition revenue per FTE, or 27.8% of the average net tuition revenue per FTE at four-year institutions ($9,385).

Figure 2.4

Public Education Appropriations and Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by Sector, U.S., FY 2019-2020

Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding.
  2. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  3. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  4. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Education appropriations shown in the above figures include funding for institutions (general public operations) as well as funding for student financial aid. The next section explores the proportion of education appropriations that is allocated to student financial aid.

Financial Aid Share

States allocate financial aid to students attending both public and independent (private) institutions. i i State aid as a percent of education appropriations State aid as a percent of education appropriations measures allocations to state scholarships or other state financial aid for students attending public in-state institutions, as a proportion of total state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS A small portion of financial aid (less than 1%) is allocated to students attending out-of-state institutions. SHEF focuses specifically on state funding for public institutions, and financial aid to independent and out-of-state institutions is excluded from education appropriations. 18 18Trends in state-funded student financial aid for students attending public institutions differ substantially from trends in aid for students attending independent institutions. The composition of state financial aid has also changed over time. For more information, the 2019 SHEF Issue Brief on state financial aid explores trends over time in state financial aid to public and private institutions by state. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES This section examines state financial aid for students attending public in-state institutions.

Figure 2.5 shows the change in state financial aid for students at public institutions over time. Unlike the rest of education appropriations, state public financial aid has increased consistently over time.

  • On a per-FTE basis and after adjusting for inflation, state financial aid to public institutions has increased 62.6%, from $511 in 2001 to $830 in 2020. State aid increased 7.0% in the last year alone.

  • SHEF data show that states primarily protect financial aid during economic downturns. During the worst years of the Great Recession, from 2008 to 2012, aid per FTE increased 4.4% despite rapidly increasing enrollment while the rest of education appropriations declined. As a result, the financial aid allocation increased from 7.0% to 9.5% of all education appropriations.

  • In 2020, aid to public institutions comprised 9.6% of all education appropriations, up from 5.1% in 2001 when these data were first collected.

Figure 2.5

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid Per FTE and as a Percent of Education Appropriations, U.S., FY 2001-2020

Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. Financial aid data are not available prior to 2001. Over time, states have shifted from reporting appropriated student financial aid to reporting actual/awarded student financial aid (see measurement note). Any such updates are made to all historical data for each state.
  3. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  4. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  6. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Despite increasing state allocations to student financial aid, student contributions to higher education revenues have increased over time. In the next section, we examine the student contribution to higher education, or the student share.

Student Share

Figure 2.6 provides a comprehensive look at the growing reliance on net tuition as a revenue source—the student share. i i Student share The student share is a measure of the proportion of total education revenues at public institutions coming from net tuition revenue. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS There has been a substantial shift of responsibility for financing public higher education toward net tuition revenue (from 20.9% to 44.0%) since 1980. The student share increases most rapidly during periods of economic recession, shifting more of higher education costs to students and families. The student share grew rapidly during the Great Recession, increasing from 35.7% in 2008 to an all-time high of 47.4% in 2013.

When the economy stabilizes, the student share also stabilizes and may slightly decrease. Since the 2013 high point, the student share has declined 3.4 percentage points to 44.0% in 2020. Decreases in student share occur when growth in education appropriations outpaces growth in net tuition revenue. Given this trend, we expect that the student share may rise substantially in the coming years following the fiscal year 2020 recession.

There are regional differences in the student share, but the overall trend of sharp increases during economic recessions holds across each region. Student share is highest in the Midwest and Northeast; the South tracks closely to the U.S. average; and the West has the lowest regional student share (Figure 2.6).

Figure 2.6

Net Tuition as a Percent of Total Education Revenue, U.S., FY 1980-2020

Notes:
  1. The student share is a measure of the proportion of total education revenue at public institutions coming from net tuition revenue. Net tuition revenue used for capital debt service is included in net tuition revenue, but excluded from total education revenue in calculating the above figures. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding.
  2. Regional averages are based on the U.S. Census designation.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Student Enrollment

Map 3.1

Map of Net Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment, FY 2020

FTE enrollment i i Net full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time academic year students. FTE excludes medical students. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS has broadly increased since the start of the SHEF dataset in 1980. In 1980, U.S. public institutions enrolled 6.85 million FTE students. Historically, enrollment has increased in each decade, reaching:

  • 7.77 million in 1990;
  • 8.38 million in 2000; and
  • 11.38 million in 2010.

However, the last decade has reversed this trend. Enrollment increased rapidly during and immediately following the Great Recession and peaked at 11.66 million students in 2011. Since 2011, FTE enrollment has declined for nine straight years to 10.93 million in 2020—yet these declines have been relatively small (less than 1%) since 2015. In the last year, enrollment declined 0.6% or 68,610 FTE students.

1. State Comparisons

Figure 3.1 shows net FTE enrollment for each state in 2020. The data in Table 3.1 provide additional detail on how enrollment has changed over time in each state.

  • Across the states, FTE enrollment ranged from roughly 3,200 students in Washington, D.C., and 15,000 in Alaska to 1.61 million in California. Only Texas and California had more than 1 million FTE enrolled students in 2020.

  • Enrollment declined in 35 states and Washington, D.C., between 2019 and 2020. These declines ranged from 0.02% in Colorado to 10.8% in New Mexico. Fifteen states had increases in FTE enrollment, from .02% in Florida to 7.5% in Arizona.

  • Enrollment has declined in 43 states since 2010, but in only one state since the start of the SHEF dataset: FTE enrollment in Illinois has declined 8.8% since 1980.

Figure 3.1

Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.1

Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment by State, FY 1980-2020

State 1980 2001 2010 2015 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 % Change Since 2015 % Change Since 2010 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama 138,620 165,833 210,067 193,411 202,773 205,948 1.6% 6.5% -2.0% 24.2% 48.6%
Alaska 10,530 16,079 20,291 19,934 16,721 15,051 -10.0% -24.5% -25.8% -6.4% 42.9%
Arizona 120,148 194,629 259,953 274,454 292,856 314,834 7.5% 14.7% 21.1% 61.8% 162.0%
Arkansas 53,130 87,337 118,884 118,408 113,367 111,155 -2.0% -6.1% -6.5% 27.3% 109.2%
California 979,142 1,322,308 1,617,690 1,563,541 1,610,868 1,607,937 -0.2% 2.8% -0.6% 21.6% 64.2%
Colorado 113,281 141,492 187,231 181,867 183,744 183,702 0.0% 1.0% -1.9% 29.8% 62.2%
Connecticut 58,909 60,976 85,033 87,403 83,793 81,422 -2.8% -6.8% -4.2% 33.5% 38.2%
Delaware 20,664 28,944 33,570 36,742 36,410 35,571 -2.3% -3.2% 6.0% 22.9% 72.1%
Florida 287,388 420,957 607,246 601,198 629,851 630,884 0.2% 4.9% 3.9% 49.9% 119.5%
Georgia 157,155 234,998 370,732 344,325 355,223 358,669 1.0% 4.2% -3.3% 52.6% 128.2%
Hawaii 30,465 31,810 39,857 39,444 35,254 34,736 -1.5% -11.9% -12.8% 9.2% 14.0%
Idaho 26,647 39,495 49,251 54,102 54,421 55,155 1.3% 1.9% 12.0% 39.7% 107.0%
Illinois 342,097 323,876 391,926 351,917 306,970 312,151 1.7% -11.3% -20.4% -3.6% -8.8%
Indiana 142,061 193,130 265,758 252,802 246,300 245,224 -0.4% -3.0% -7.7% 27.0% 72.6%
Iowa 84,210 105,545 127,128 124,883 123,666 119,917 -3.0% -4.0% -5.7% 13.6% 42.4%
Kansas 87,216 100,476 138,240 137,035 132,253 129,622 -2.0% -5.4% -6.2% 29.0% 48.6%
Kentucky 89,389 119,500 154,247 152,945 142,659 141,103 -1.1% -7.7% -8.5% 18.1% 57.9%
Louisiana 106,686 168,121 178,931 165,329 164,765 165,480 0.4% 0.1% -7.5% -1.6% 55.1%
Maine 26,250 29,287 37,517 35,445 33,947 34,005 0.2% -4.1% -9.4% 16.1% 29.5%
Maryland 133,228 175,085 231,189 233,208 229,243 221,419 -3.4% -5.1% -4.2% 26.5% 66.2%
Massachusetts 122,952 128,404 165,244 170,703 160,327 156,878 -2.2% -8.1% -5.1% 22.2% 27.6%
Michigan 318,166 333,584 434,490 390,047 366,315 357,275 -2.5% -8.4% -17.8% 7.1% 12.3%
Minnesota 149,418 167,238 215,009 198,328 184,359 180,441 -2.1% -9.0% -16.1% 7.9% 20.8%
Mississippi 85,292 102,490 132,105 129,478 129,499 127,142 -1.8% -1.8% -3.8% 24.1% 49.1%
Missouri 120,468 156,588 191,608 186,936 182,499 163,408 -10.5% -12.6% -14.7% 4.4% 35.6%
Montana 25,452 33,660 38,909 38,732 36,371 35,237 -3.1% -9.0% -9.4% 4.7% 38.4%
Nebraska 56,360 65,725 83,206 78,469 75,940 73,833 -2.8% -5.9% -11.3% 12.3% 31.0%
Nevada 19,367 48,107 68,799 67,265 71,016 72,145 1.6% 7.3% 4.9% 50.0% 272.5%
New Hampshire 19,415 26,506 39,171 38,398 36,353 34,695 -4.6% -9.6% -11.4% 30.9% 78.7%
New Jersey 171,390 178,671 268,066 270,053 262,278 261,616 -0.3% -3.1% -2.4% 46.4% 52.6%
New Mexico 48,268 66,847 98,709 96,110 79,980 71,365 -10.8% -25.7% -27.7% 6.8% 47.9%
New York 418,679 449,959 572,378 566,235 537,124 524,387 -2.4% -7.4% -8.4% 16.5% 25.2%
North Carolina 165,642 266,217 420,956 391,990 393,922 403,093 2.3% 2.8% -4.2% 51.4% 143.4%
North Dakota 26,735 31,922 37,716 36,801 33,781 32,660 -3.3% -11.3% -13.4% 2.3% 22.2%
Ohio 291,000 337,379 447,494 393,845 386,451 385,027 -0.4% -2.2% -14.0% 14.1% 32.3%
Oklahoma 96,476 121,111 142,024 136,311 128,845 126,370 -1.9% -7.3% -11.0% 4.3% 31.0%
Oregon 96,946 111,006 160,037 155,725 144,290 137,801 -4.5% -11.5% -13.9% 24.1% 42.1%
Pennsylvania 243,296 288,334 371,286 354,891 329,486 322,144 -2.2% -9.2% -13.2% 11.7% 32.4%
Rhode Island 23,237 25,622 32,071 31,547 30,019 30,099 0.3% -4.6% -6.1% 17.5% 29.5%
South Carolina 95,600 132,404 171,727 174,643 166,740 168,422 1.0% -3.6% -1.9% 27.2% 76.2%
South Dakota 18,623 22,064 32,324 33,938 32,816 31,962 -2.6% -5.8% -1.1% 44.9% 71.6%
Tennessee 124,022 159,838 190,286 185,316 185,912 186,845 0.5% 0.8% -1.8% 16.9% 50.7%
Texas 466,900 667,534 896,832 1,010,334 1,066,707 1,071,308 0.4% 6.0% 19.5% 60.5% 129.5%
Utah 47,061 91,953 118,446 120,352 128,102 127,833 -0.2% 6.2% 7.9% 39.0% 171.6%
Vermont 13,656 15,914 21,795 20,616 20,458 20,562 0.5% -0.3% -5.7% 29.2% 50.6%
Virginia 175,197 236,014 312,598 314,066 302,019 301,730 -0.1% -3.9% -3.5% 27.8% 72.2%
Washington 163,866 204,663 254,867 242,221 235,981 230,583 -2.3% -4.8% -9.5% 12.7% 40.7%
West Virginia 53,331 62,902 78,798 72,765 66,577 65,445 -1.7% -10.1% -16.9% 4.0% 22.7%
Wisconsin 174,163 196,523 237,403 219,490 209,654 206,545 -1.5% -5.9% -13.0% 5.1% 18.6%
Wyoming 14,048 20,198 25,587 24,042 22,194 21,653 -2.4% -9.9% -15.4% 7.2% 54.1%
D.C. N/A N/A N/A 3,723 3,518 3,176 -9.7% -14.7% N/A N/A N/A
U.S. 6,852,242 8,709,255 11,384,682 11,118,040 11,001,099 10,932,489 -0.6% -1.7% -4.0% 25.5% 59.5%
Notes:
  1. Full-time equivalent enrollment equates student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

Table 3.1A presents newly published data on net FTE enrollment for the public two-year and four-year sectors separately. i i Sector Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS In 2020, there were 4.28 million FTE enrolled students at two-year institutions. One state (Alaska) and Washington, D.C., have no public two-year institutions. Two-year enrollment across all other states ranges from 2,569 FTE in Vermont to 926,545 in California. Roughly one out of every five students attending a public two-year institution in the United States is attending an institution in California.

  • In the last year, enrollment declined 1.9% at two-year institutions. Thirty-six states had declines, three of which were greater than 10%: Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. The largest increase in two-year enrollment was 4.8% in Ohio.

There were 6.7 million FTE enrolled students at four-year institutions in 2020, about 1.6 times the number of two-year students. Enrollment at four-year institutions ranges from 3,176 in Washington D.C., and 10,713 in Wyoming to 681,392 in California. Notably, Texas has almost as many FTE students attending four-year institutions (585,886), but only about half as many two-year students as California. California represents about one-tenth of all four-year public enrollment.

  • From 2019 to 2020, FTE enrollment increased 0.2% at four-year institutions. Thirty states and Washington, D.C., had declines, and two were 10% or greater (Alaska and New Mexico). The largest increase was 12.7% in Arizona.

Figure 3.1A shows that states vary in the proportion of their enrollment attending institutions within each sector. 19 19As the following sections will show, two-year and four-year public institutions have very different revenue structures and total revenues. As a result, when states differ in the proportion of their students attending each sector, their state-level data become more difficult to compare. The Enrollment Mix Index (EMI) adjustment used throughout the state-level metrics in this report attempts to correct for this variation in FTE enrollment. Sector-level data are not adjusted for EMI. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Overall, 39.1% of FTE students attend a two-year institution in the United States. The percent of FTE at two-year institutions varies from only 8.1% in Nevada to 57.6% in California. 20 20The low two-year enrollment in Nevada is due to the Carnegie Basic Classification, which lists all but one Nevada community college as a four-year institution. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Only three states (California, Washington, and Wyoming) have more FTE students enrolled in the two-year sector than in the four-year sector.

 

Measurement Note: Sector Enrollment Mix

States vary in the proportion of their enrollment attending two-year and four-year public institutions. In addition, as the following sections will show, the two-year and four-year public sectors have very different revenue structures and total revenues. These varying enrollment proportions and different revenue structures make state-level data more difficult to compare. The Enrollment Mix Index (EMI) adjustment used throughout the state-level metrics in this report attempts to correct for this variation in FTE enrollment. i i Enrollment mix index (EMI) EMI adjusts for differences in the distribution of enrollment by sector in each state compared to the national enrollment distribution. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS Sector-level data are not adjusted for EMI (and do not need to be).

Figure 3.1A

Percent of Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment Attending Two-Year Institutions by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  2. Alaska and the District of Columbia are excluded from this figure because they do not have any public two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.1A

Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment by Sector and State, FY 2019-2020

Two-Year FTE Four-Year FTE
State 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019
Alabama 59,288 59,288 0.0% 143,485 146,660 2.2%
Alaska 0 0 N/A 16,721 15,051 -10.0%
Arizona 110,557 109,319 -1.1% 182,299 205,515 12.7%
Arkansas 30,944 30,830 -0.4% 82,423 80,325 -2.5%
California 938,182 926,545 -1.2% 672,687 681,392 1.3%
Colorado 56,000 56,388 0.7% 127,744 127,314 -0.3%
Connecticut 26,419 24,779 -6.2% 57,374 56,643 -1.3%
Delaware 8,886 8,412 -5.3% 27,524 27,159 -1.3%
Florida 315,763 312,291 -1.1% 314,088 318,593 1.4%
Georgia 86,540 86,454 -0.1% 268,683 272,215 1.3%
Hawaii 14,820 14,411 -2.8% 20,434 20,326 -0.5%
Idaho 15,992 15,235 -4.7% 38,429 39,921 3.9%
Illinois 140,713 145,819 3.6% 166,257 166,332 0.0%
Indiana 63,913 62,784 -1.8% 182,388 182,441 0.0%
Iowa 51,518 50,275 -2.4% 72,148 69,642 -3.5%
Kansas 52,895 51,124 -3.3% 79,358 78,498 -1.1%
Kentucky 43,446 43,531 0.2% 99,212 97,571 -1.7%
Louisiana 43,091 43,230 0.3% 121,674 122,250 0.5%
Maine 9,773 9,972 2.0% 24,174 24,033 -0.6%
Maryland 89,990 84,662 -5.9% 139,253 136,757 -1.8%
Massachusetts 49,799 46,920 -5.8% 110,528 110,527 0.0%
Michigan 116,340 108,318 -6.9% 249,975 248,957 -0.4%
Minnesota 76,219 74,260 -2.6% 108,148 106,181 -1.8%
Mississippi 58,299 56,938 -2.3% 71,200 70,204 -1.4%
Missouri 59,765 51,524 -13.8% 122,734 111,884 -8.8%
Montana 6,677 6,383 -4.4% 29,694 28,854 -2.8%
Nebraska 26,142 24,096 -7.8% 49,798 49,737 -0.1%
Nevada 5,761 5,852 1.6% 65,255 66,293 1.6%
New Hampshire 9,853 9,059 -8.1% 26,500 25,636 -3.3%
New Jersey 99,904 97,367 -2.5% 162,374 164,249 1.2%
New Mexico 37,798 33,969 -10.1% 42,183 36,963 -12.4%
New York 210,891 200,472 -4.9% 326,233 323,915 -0.7%
North Carolina 179,659 186,828 4.0% 214,263 216,265 0.9%
North Dakota 7,028 6,701 -4.7% 26,753 25,959 -3.0%
Ohio 99,164 103,898 4.8% 287,307 281,129 -2.2%
Oklahoma 40,585 36,927 -9.0% 88,260 89,443 1.3%
Oregon 60,770 56,052 -7.8% 83,519 81,749 -2.1%
Pennsylvania 79,979 77,365 -3.3% 251,583 246,831 -1.9%
Rhode Island 9,051 9,135 0.9% 21,153 20,964 -0.9%
South Carolina 57,624 57,685 0.1% 109,116 110,737 1.5%
South Dakota 5,810 5,839 0.5% 27,006 26,123 -3.3%
Tennessee 70,354 71,489 1.6% 115,558 115,356 -0.2%
Texas 487,864 485,422 -0.5% 578,843 585,886 1.2%
Utah 25,832 24,933 -3.5% 102,270 102,901 0.6%
Vermont 2,652 2,569 -3.1% 17,806 17,993 1.1%
Virginia 100,141 96,823 -3.3% 201,878 204,907 1.5%
Washington 123,981 118,981 -4.0% 112,000 111,602 -0.4%
West Virginia 11,076 11,035 -0.4% 55,501 54,410 -2.0%
Wisconsin 72,054 64,314 -10.7% 137,600 142,231 3.4%
Wyoming 11,214 10,940 -2.4% 10,980 10,713 -2.4%
D.C. 0 0 N/A 3,518 3,176 -9.7%
U.S. 4,361,016 4,277,443 -1.9% 6,642,373 6,657,237 0.2%
Notes:
  1. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
  3. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  4. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Education Appropriations

Map 3.2

Map of Education Appropriations Per FTE, FY 2020

Fiscal year 2020 marks the eighth straight year of per-FTE increases in education appropriations. i i Education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and exclude research, hospitals, and medical education. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS Inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE increased 2.9% from 2019 to 2020, reaching $8,636 (Table 3.2).

Historically, public higher education was primarily funded by the states. For the last four decades, funding has decreased during poor economic times and increased as the economy improved. Beginning with the tech bust in 2001, however, annual increases in education appropriations per FTE have been smaller than the declines during each recession. As a result, we enter the next recessionary period at below-average funding. Education appropriations per FTE in 2020 remain at a lower level than most years prior to the Great Recession’s steep declines.

The U.S. entered a recession in February 2020, ending ten years of economic expansion. 21 21National Bureau of Economic Research. (2020). Determination of the February 2020 peak in U.S. economic activity. https://www.nber.org/news/business-cycle-dating-committee-announcement-june-8-2020 VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES In past recessions, state funding declines lagged by at least one year. The starting year of each economic recession is thus considered a pre-recession high point. Therefore, the most appropriate comparisons for funding in fiscal year 2020 are the pre-recession highs from prior decades. Compared to prior pre-recession high points, inflation-adjusted education appropriations in fiscal 2020 were:

  • 2.0% below 1980 (the start of the SHEF dataset);
  • 10.2% below 1990;
  • 14.6% below 2001; and
  • 6.0% below 2008.

1. State Comparisons

Education appropriations per FTE ranged from $3,387 in Vermont to $21,802 in Wyoming (Figure 3.2). Appropriations increased in 41 states and Washington, D.C., from 2019 to 2020. New Hampshire had the largest increase at 42.1%. There were also large one-year increases in New Mexico (17.6%), Missouri (17.0%), South Dakota (15.7%), Vermont (14.6%), Wyoming (12.9%), and Oregon (11.5%). Of the nine states with appropriations decreases in the last year, none were above 5% (Table 3.2). The most sizeable year-over-year declines in education appropriations were 3.1% and 3.9% in Arizona and New Jersey, respectively. Since 1980, education appropriations per FTE have decreased in 33 states.

As previously discussed, higher education has entered the next recessionary period at below-average funding. Nationally, funding has not recovered from the last recession. However, education appropriations have fully recovered to at least 2008 levels in 18 states, a large improvement from last year. 22 22In 2019, only nine states had reached pre-recession levels in education appropriations. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Still, appropriations in 12 states are at least 20% below 2008 levels, signifying a lack of recovery in those states following the last recession. The largest declines from 2008 to 2020 are in Arizona (42.7%), Oklahoma (38.6%), and Louisiana (37.3%).

State Spotlight : New Hampshire

NH

Education appropriations per FTE increased 42.1% ($1,280 per FTE) in New Hampshire between 2019 and 2020. As a result, New Hampshire moved from 50th to 49th in education appropriations per FTE. In large part, the funding increase is due to almost $31 million in federal stimulus funding ($886 per FTE).

There were also increases in per-FTE general operating appropriations: 29.9% at two-year public institutions and 8.2% at four-year public institutions. The numbers are also adjusted upward due to a 4.6% decline in net FTE enrollment. Percent changes in states like New Hampshire sometimes fluctuate more dramatically due to low funding and FTE. Excluding stimulus funds, New Hampshire’s additional higher education investments totaled $14.6 million.

Figure 3.2

Public Higher Education Appropriations Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  3. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  4. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.2

Public Higher Education Appropriations Per FTE by State, FY 1980-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 1980 2001 2010 2015 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 % Change Since 2015 % Change Since 2010 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama $7,509 $8,852 $7,682 $6,938 $7,578 $8,023 5.9% 15.6% 4.4% -9.4% 6.8%
Alaska $22,369 $13,841 $14,981 $16,535 $15,941 $16,128 1.2% -2.5% 7.7% 16.5% -27.9%
Arizona $7,785 $8,832 $8,112 $6,220 $5,656 $5,480 -3.1% -11.9% -32.4% -38.0% -29.6%
Arkansas $9,506 $9,642 $9,396 $8,905 $8,412 $8,788 4.5% -1.3% -6.5% -8.9% -7.6%
California $8,455 $9,297 $7,473 $8,151 $9,267 $9,531 2.9% 16.9% 27.5% 2.5% 12.7%
Colorado $5,387 $6,495 $4,925 $4,034 $4,695 $5,140 9.5% 27.4% 4.4% -20.9% -4.6%
Connecticut $7,898 $15,517 $13,464 $12,074 $11,670 $11,965 2.5% -0.9% -11.1% -22.9% 51.5%
Delaware $7,443 $8,625 $7,159 $5,592 $5,727 $5,971 4.3% 6.8% -16.6% -30.8% -19.8%
Florida $6,616 $10,046 $6,915 $6,654 $7,608 $7,714 1.4% 15.9% 11.6% -23.2% 16.6%
Georgia $9,190 $14,238 $9,435 $8,984 $10,131 $10,348 2.1% 15.2% 9.7% -27.3% 12.6%
Hawaii $10,047 $10,077 $11,053 $10,370 $14,851 $14,735 -0.8% 42.1% 33.3% 46.2% 46.7%
Idaho $12,185 $12,996 $9,598 $8,653 $9,805 $9,910 1.1% 14.5% 3.3% -23.7% -18.7%
Illinois $9,459 $14,359 $13,689 $16,474 $17,099 $17,669 3.3% 7.3% 29.1% 23.0% 86.8%
Indiana $9,166 $9,110 $6,383 $6,283 $6,541 $6,388 -2.3% 1.7% 0.1% -29.9% -30.3%
Iowa $9,830 $10,781 $7,350 $6,767 $6,248 $6,608 5.8% -2.4% -10.1% -38.7% -32.8%
Kansas $9,368 $10,703 $7,324 $6,900 $7,069 $7,376 4.3% 6.9% 0.7% -31.1% -21.3%
Kentucky $10,252 $12,474 $9,353 $7,833 $7,554 $7,535 -0.3% -3.8% -19.4% -39.6% -26.5%
Louisiana $9,115 $8,072 $8,770 $6,264 $6,070 $6,143 1.2% -1.9% -30.0% -23.9% -32.6%
Maine $6,963 $10,302 $7,432 $7,327 $7,948 $8,102 1.9% 10.6% 9.0% -21.4% 16.4%
Maryland $7,190 $9,671 $7,525 $7,402 $8,158 $8,800 7.9% 18.9% 16.9% -9.0% 22.4%
Massachusetts $8,070 $10,907 $6,977 $7,483 $8,287 $8,728 5.3% 16.6% 25.1% -20.0% 8.2%
Michigan $9,939 $12,206 $7,337 $7,030 $7,427 $7,630 2.7% 8.5% 4.0% -37.5% -23.2%
Minnesota $10,511 $10,668 $7,842 $7,012 $7,690 $8,055 4.8% 14.9% 2.7% -24.5% -23.4%
Mississippi $9,098 $11,097 $9,142 $8,128 $6,845 $7,166 4.7% -11.8% -21.6% -35.4% -21.2%
Missouri $10,609 $12,724 $8,850 $8,129 $7,535 $8,819 17.0% 8.5% -0.4% -30.7% -16.9%
Montana $8,147 $6,294 $6,154 $6,336 $6,277 $6,757 7.6% 6.7% 9.8% 7.4% -17.1%
Nebraska $8,538 $8,514 $9,171 $9,751 $9,974 $10,485 5.1% 7.5% 14.3% 23.1% 22.8%
Nevada $9,920 $10,419 $10,395 $8,461 $9,447 $9,430 -0.2% 11.4% -9.3% -9.5% -4.9%
New Hampshire $4,985 $5,526 $3,623 $2,950 $3,042 $4,321 42.1% 46.5% 19.3% -21.8% -13.3%
New Jersey $7,975 $10,791 $9,228 $7,780 $8,048 $7,735 -3.9% -0.6% -16.2% -28.3% -3.0%
New Mexico $10,641 $10,816 $9,231 $11,005 $12,137 $14,268 17.6% 29.7% 54.6% 31.9% 34.1%
New York $11,348 $10,735 $10,581 $10,780 $12,105 $12,252 1.2% 13.7% 15.8% 14.1% 8.0%
North Carolina $10,311 $13,359 $10,513 $10,325 $11,040 $10,742 -2.7% 4.0% 2.2% -19.6% 4.2%
North Dakota $8,555 $7,280 $8,063 $9,815 $8,425 $8,874 5.3% -9.6% 10.1% 21.9% 3.7%
Ohio $8,182 $9,843 $6,289 $6,425 $6,561 $6,432 -2.0% 0.1% 2.3% -34.7% -21.4%
Oklahoma $8,702 $10,653 $10,172 $8,613 $6,210 $6,393 2.9% -25.8% -37.2% -40.0% -26.5%
Oregon $7,012 $7,604 $4,951 $4,886 $6,258 $6,977 11.5% 42.8% 40.9% -8.2% -0.5%
Pennsylvania $9,636 $9,659 $5,949 $4,650 $5,080 $5,412 6.5% 16.4% -9.0% -44.0% -43.8%
Rhode Island $10,295 $8,934 $5,115 $5,197 $6,639 $6,878 3.6% 32.4% 34.5% -23.0% -33.2%
South Carolina $9,454 $8,123 $6,181 $5,444 $6,081 $6,586 8.3% 21.0% 6.6% -18.9% -30.3%
South Dakota $9,110 $8,626 $6,623 $6,200 $6,660 $7,704 15.7% 24.3% 16.3% -10.7% -15.4%
Tennessee $9,011 $9,459 $9,897 $8,490 $10,345 $10,969 6.0% 29.2% 10.8% 16.0% 21.7%
Texas $8,243 $9,592 $9,816 $8,079 $8,176 $8,147 -0.4% 0.8% -17.0% -15.1% -1.2%
Utah $9,747 $8,470 $6,940 $7,273 $7,771 $8,399 8.1% 15.5% 21.0% -0.8% -13.8%
Vermont $4,425 $4,046 $3,339 $2,945 $2,956 $3,387 14.6% 15.0% 1.5% -16.3% -23.4%
Virginia $7,411 $9,241 $6,085 $5,375 $6,072 $6,519 7.4% 21.3% 7.1% -29.5% -12.0%
Washington $8,899 $8,576 $7,149 $6,354 $7,813 $8,610 10.2% 35.5% 20.4% 0.4% -3.3%
West Virginia $7,654 $7,339 $6,074 $5,676 $5,397 $5,905 9.4% 4.0% -2.8% -19.5% -22.8%
Wisconsin $10,227 $11,458 $8,821 $8,409 $8,227 $8,276 0.6% -1.6% -6.2% -27.8% -19.1%
Wyoming $15,497 $12,679 $15,475 $18,185 $19,305 $21,802 12.9% 19.9% 40.9% 72.0% 40.7%
D.C. N/A N/A N/A $16,811 $19,267 $21,328 10.7% 26.9% N/A N/A N/A
U.S. $8,814 $10,109 $8,154 $7,840 $8,392 $8,636 2.9% 10.1% 5.9% -14.6% -2.0%
Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses, and exclude appropriations for independent institutions, financial aid for students attending independent or out-of-state institutions, research, hospitals, and medical education.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  3. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI), Enrollment Mix Index (EMI), and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The District of Columbia is not adjusted for COLI or EMI.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

Table 3.2A presents newly published data on education appropriations per FTE for the public two-year and four-year sectors separately. State agency and federal stimulus funding are not included in sector-level education appropriations. i i Sector-level education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

In the last year, inflation-adjusted state and local education appropriations increased 2.4% to $8,173 per FTE at two-year institutions. Because one in five FTE students at a two-year institution are located in California, the U.S. weighted average is heavily affected by California’s figures. Two-year public education appropriations per FTE ranged widely across states, from $2,904 in Vermont to $15,889 per FTE in Wyoming. Forty states had increases, nine of which were greater than 10%. Two states had increases above 25%: Missouri (25.0%) and New Hampshire (27.9%). The largest decline in education appropriations per FTE was 7.0% in Ohio.

In the four-year sector, education appropriations per FTE increased 1.9% from 2019 to 2020, reaching $8,392. At four-year public institutions, education appropriations ranged $18,000 per FTE across states, from $2,494 in New Hampshire to $20,578 in Illinois. 23 23See the State Spotlight on Illinois for additional information about this increase. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES There were increases in 35 states and Washington, D.C. Two increases were greater than 10%: New Mexico (20.2%) and Missouri (14.5%). The largest decline in four-year education appropriations per FTE was 11.8% in Michigan.

Figure 3.2A displays the disparity in funding between the two- and four-year public sectors within each state. States on the left side of the figure (the light blue bars) have relatively higher per-FTE appropriations in the two-year sector, while states on the right side of the figure (the dark blue bars) have higher per-FTE appropriations in the four-year sector. Arizona has the largest disparity favoring the two-year sector, although this is entirely due to local appropriations. New Jersey has the highest disparity favoring the four-year sector, with 82% higher education appropriations per FTE at four-year institutions.

These data show more even funding across sectors than many readers may expect. This is because education appropriations attempt to make higher education funding more comparable across states by including local appropriations (which primarily support two-year institutions) but excluding research, agriculture, and medical appropriations, which only support four-year institutions. To help explain the components of sector-level education appropriations, Table 3.2B breaks out the different sources of state and local support for two- and four-year public institutions in fiscal year 2020.

  • Two-year public institutions received $4,969 per FTE in state general operating appropriations, 67.6% of the four-year general operating appropriation ($7,352).

  • State financial aid awards averaged $477 at two-year institutions, 46.7% of the $1,021 awarded to students attending four-year institutions.

  • Local appropriations were 144.5 times higher at two-year institutions ($2,727) compared to four-year institutions ($19 per FTE). There were two-year local appropriations in 29 states, compared to only seven for four-year institutions.

  • RAM averaged $1,697 at four-year institutions. These funds are excluded from education appropriations but included in total state support.

  • Total state and local support at two-year institutions is $8,173, 81% of the amount at four-year institutions ($10,092). i i Sector-level state and local support Sector-level state and local support is the sum of state and local operating appropriations, state financial aid, and state research, agricultural, or medical appropriations at public two- and four-year institutions. Sector-level state and local support does not include federal stimulus or state agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

Figure 3.2A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education Appropriations Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding.
  2. Alaska and the District of Columbia are excluded from this figure because they do not have any public two-year institutions.
  3. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

State Spotlight : Kentucky

KY

Kentucky is one of the few states with substantial local appropriations allocated to four-year public institutions. Only three states have more than $100 per FTE in local appropriations: Kansas ($363), Kentucky ($316), and New York ($157).

Kentucky is unique in that it is the only state with local appropriations in the four-year sector but not the two-year sector. In every other state, two-year institutions receive much greater local appropriations than four-year institutions. For example, Kansas and New York have $5,573 and $4,928 in local appropriations for two-year institutions, respectively.

The four-year local appropriations in Kentucky come from counties across the state for the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension services. Local tax appropriations are sent to the university to offset base operating and personnel costs for County Extension Offices.

Table 3.2A

Public Higher Education Appropriations Per FTE by Sector and State, FY 2019-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

Two-Year Education Appropriations Four-Year Education Appropriations
State 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019
Alabama $7,179 $7,714 0.94 7.5% $6,571 $6,752 0.80 2.8%
Alaska $0 $0 0.00 N/A $15,693 $15,797 1.88 0.7%
Arizona $9,488 $9,951 1.22 4.9% $3,637 $3,384 0.40 -7.0%
Arkansas $8,458 $8,475 1.04 0.2% $8,076 $8,198 0.98 1.5%
California $8,729 $8,464 1.04 -3.0% $8,669 $9,507 1.13 9.7%
Colorado $6,060 $6,652 0.81 9.8% $4,164 $4,563 0.54 9.6%
Connecticut $8,901 $9,524 1.17 7.0% $9,475 $8,971 1.07 -5.3%
Delaware $9,064 $9,822 1.20 8.4% $5,612 $5,769 0.69 2.8%
Florida $4,837 $4,909 0.60 1.5% $11,163 $11,233 1.34 0.6%
Georgia $7,041 $7,104 0.87 0.9% $9,734 $10,067 1.20 3.4%
Hawaii $11,724 $11,855 1.45 1.1% $14,733 $14,139 1.68 -4.0%
Idaho $5,476 $5,862 0.72 7.0% $9,174 $9,099 1.08 -0.8%
Illinois $12,100 $12,445 1.52 2.9% $19,753 $20,578 2.45 4.2%
Indiana $5,875 $5,892 0.72 0.3% $7,084 $6,859 0.82 -3.2%
Iowa $6,696 $7,146 0.87 6.7% $6,549 $6,879 0.82 5.0%
Kansas $8,883 $9,290 1.14 4.6% $6,156 $6,436 0.77 4.5%
Kentucky $6,159 $6,183 0.76 0.4% $8,086 $8,074 0.96 -0.2%
Louisiana $3,719 $3,779 0.46 1.6% $6,395 $6,374 0.76 -0.3%
Maine $7,343 $7,244 0.89 -1.4% $7,587 $7,838 0.93 3.3%
Maryland $7,676 $8,192 1.00 6.7% $8,088 $8,738 1.04 8.0%
Massachusetts $6,826 $7,441 0.91 9.0% $8,533 $8,793 1.05 3.0%
Michigan $9,961 $10,438 1.28 4.8% $6,626 $5,844 0.70 -11.8%
Minnesota $6,412 $6,743 0.83 5.2% $7,936 $8,190 0.98 3.2%
Mississippi $6,322 $6,624 0.81 4.8% $6,739 $7,057 0.84 4.7%
Missouri $6,861 $8,577 1.05 25.0% $7,535 $8,629 1.03 14.5%
Montana $5,566 $6,107 0.75 9.7% $6,313 $6,796 0.81 7.7%
Nebraska $11,549 $12,815 1.57 11.0% $9,659 $9,880 1.18 2.3%
Nevada $6,753 $6,415 0.78 -5.0% $8,650 $8,775 1.05 1.4%
New Hampshire $4,564 $5,837 0.71 27.9% $2,298 $2,494 0.30 8.5%
New Jersey $4,045 $4,025 0.49 -0.5% $10,230 $9,668 1.15 -5.5%
New Mexico $10,352 $12,008 1.47 16.0% $13,521 $16,255 1.94 20.2%
New York $8,968 $9,456 1.16 5.4% $13,008 $12,862 1.53 -1.1%
North Carolina $8,206 $7,991 0.98 -2.6% $12,621 $12,325 1.47 -2.3%
North Dakota $7,268 $7,826 0.96 7.7% $7,492 $7,783 0.93 3.9%
Ohio $7,852 $7,305 0.89 -7.0% $6,230 $6,243 0.74 0.2%
Oklahoma $5,792 $6,570 0.80 13.4% $6,225 $6,144 0.73 -1.3%
Oregon $8,756 $10,048 1.23 14.8% $4,557 $4,955 0.59 8.7%
Pennsylvania $5,500 $5,823 0.71 5.9% $5,051 $5,248 0.63 3.9%
Rhode Island $5,103 $5,084 0.62 -0.4% $5,386 $5,522 0.66 2.5%
South Carolina $6,922 $7,426 0.91 7.3% $5,688 $6,166 0.73 8.4%
South Dakota $5,027 $5,822 0.71 15.8% $6,135 $6,654 0.79 8.5%
Tennessee $9,405 $9,380 1.15 -0.3% $10,048 $10,677 1.27 6.3%
Texas $7,218 $7,571 0.93 4.9% $7,914 $7,342 0.87 -7.2%
Utah $9,302 $10,089 1.23 8.5% $7,576 $8,196 0.98 8.2%
Vermont $2,790 $2,904 0.36 4.1% $2,962 $2,930 0.35 -1.1%
Virginia $4,863 $5,203 0.64 7.0% $6,453 $6,861 0.82 6.3%
Washington $6,695 $7,601 0.93 13.5% $8,368 $9,065 1.08 8.3%
West Virginia $7,120 $7,966 0.97 11.9% $5,142 $5,613 0.67 9.2%
Wisconsin $12,021 $13,168 1.61 9.5% $5,600 $5,461 0.65 -2.5%
Wyoming $16,527 $15,889 1.94 -3.9% $18,503 $18,931 2.26 2.3%
D.C. $0 $0 0.00 N/A $18,571 $20,558 2.45 10.7%
U.S. $7,977 $8,173 1.00 2.4% $8,232 $8,392 1.00 1.9%
Notes:
  1. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
  3. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  4. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
  5. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI) and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The Enrollment Mix Index (EMI) is not applied to sector-level data.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.2B

Components of Public Higher Education Appropriations Per FTE by Sector and State, FY 2020 (Adjusted)

Two-Year Public Institutions Four-Year Public Institutions
State State Operating State Financial Aid Local Education Appropriations State Operating State Financial Aid Local Education Appropriations RAM
Alabama $7,649 $37 $29 $7,714 $6,693 $58 $0 $6,752 $2,796
Alaska $0 $0 $0 $0 $15,053 $697 $47 $15,797 $1,605
Arizona $1,149 $6 $8,795 $9,951 $3,330 $53 $0 $3,384 $1,077
Arkansas $6,936 $313 $1,226 $8,475 $6,736 $1,367 $95 $8,198 $3,398
California $5,426 $324 $2,713 $8,464 $8,177 $1,330 $0 $9,507 $1,171
Colorado $4,016 $1,033 $1,603 $6,652 $3,661 $902 $0 $4,563 $1,225
Connecticut $9,219 $305 $0 $9,524 $8,681 $290 $0 $8,971 $4,371
Delaware $9,720 $103 $0 $9,822 $5,253 $516 $0 $5,769 $347
Florida $4,270 $483 $155 $4,909 $8,909 $2,324 $0 $11,233 $1,584
Georgia $6,212 $892 $0 $7,104 $7,301 $2,766 $0 $10,067 $1,632
Hawaii $11,698 $157 $0 $11,855 $14,036 $103 $0 $14,139 $4,053
Idaho $3,354 $242 $2,265 $5,862 $8,584 $515 $0 $9,099 $1,556
Illinois $5,927 $371 $6,147 $12,445 $19,225 $1,353 $0 $20,578 $1,192
Indiana $5,233 $659 $0 $5,892 $5,485 $1,374 $0 $6,859 $1,662
Iowa $4,518 $428 $2,200 $7,146 $6,821 $58 $0 $6,879 $2,052
Kansas $3,696 $22 $5,573 $9,290 $5,880 $193 $363 $6,436 $3,066
Kentucky $4,634 $1,548 $0 $6,183 $6,449 $1,309 $316 $8,074 $1,678
Louisiana $3,319 $460 $0 $3,779 $3,779 $2,595 $0 $6,374 $2,329
Maine $6,802 $442 $0 $7,244 $7,531 $306 $0 $7,838 $1,166
Maryland $3,594 $118 $4,480 $8,192 $8,271 $466 $0 $8,738 $1,812
Massachusetts $7,099 $342 $0 $7,441 $8,399 $394 $0 $8,793 $426
Michigan $4,128 $5 $6,304 $10,438 $5,827 $17 $0 $5,844 $734
Minnesota $6,218 $525 $0 $6,743 $7,254 $936 $0 $8,190 $2,028
Mississippi $5,229 $157 $1,238 $6,624 $6,481 $576 $0 $7,057 $4,900
Missouri $3,556 $1,075 $3,946 $8,577 $8,027 $602 $0 $8,629 $146
Montana $4,545 $47 $1,515 $6,107 $6,722 $74 $0 $6,796 $1,400
Nebraska $4,461 $222 $8,132 $12,815 $9,617 $263 $0 $9,880 $4,526
Nevada $5,765 $650 $0 $6,415 $7,341 $1,434 $0 $8,775 $1,435
New Hampshire $5,530 $307 $0 $5,837 $2,482 $11 $0 $2,494 $435
New Jersey $1,653 $557 $1,815 $4,025 $7,935 $1,733 $0 $9,668 $1,505
New Mexico $6,489 $249 $5,269 $12,008 $16,011 $244 $0 $16,255 $3,927
New York $3,532 $996 $4,928 $9,456 $11,211 $1,493 $157 $12,862 $1,422
North Carolina $6,213 $98 $1,681 $7,991 $11,672 $653 $0 $12,325 $2,744
North Dakota $7,306 $520 $0 $7,826 $7,259 $523 $0 $7,783 $3,379
Ohio $5,010 $36 $2,259 $7,305 $5,843 $400 $0 $6,243 $917
Oklahoma $4,244 $763 $1,564 $6,570 $5,157 $988 $0 $6,144 $1,793
Oregon $5,078 $788 $4,182 $10,048 $4,512 $443 $0 $4,955 $1,312
Pennsylvania $3,679 $354 $1,789 $5,823 $4,561 $688 $0 $5,248 $381
Rhode Island $4,799 $286 $0 $5,084 $5,342 $180 $0 $5,522 $0
South Carolina $3,430 $2,485 $1,512 $7,426 $3,946 $2,216 $4 $6,166 $1,592
South Dakota $5,604 $218 $0 $5,822 $6,306 $348 $0 $6,654 $1,886
Tennessee $6,389 $2,991 $0 $9,380 $8,158 $2,519 $0 $10,677 $3,437
Texas $2,877 $200 $4,494 $7,571 $6,953 $389 $0 $7,342 $3,493
Utah $9,996 $93 $0 $10,089 $7,921 $276 $0 $8,196 $1,444
Vermont $2,164 $740 $0 $2,904 $2,563 $367 $0 $2,930 $953
Virginia $4,397 $683 $123 $5,203 $5,770 $1,032 $60 $6,861 $1,233
Washington $6,718 $883 $0 $7,601 $7,117 $1,948 $0 $9,065 $874
West Virginia $6,538 $1,428 $0 $7,966 $4,201 $1,412 $0 $5,613 $2,847
Wisconsin $8,444 $406 $4,318 $13,168 $4,770 $691 $0 $5,461 $1,273
Wyoming $11,447 $624 $3,818 $15,889 $17,028 $1,903 $0 $18,931 $3,870
D.C. $0 $0 $0 $0 $19,587 $971 $0 $20,558 $1,397
U.S. $4,969 $477 $2,727 $8,173 $7,352 $1,021 $19 $8,392 $1,697
Notes:
  1. State operating appropriations are a measure of state support directly allocated to public two- and four-year institutions. State operating excludes local appropriations, agency funding, RAM, and student financial aid.
  2. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses.
  3. Local appropriations are any local government taxes allocated directly to institutions for operating expenses.
  4. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations do not include federal stimulus or state agency funding.
  5. RAM refers to the total appropriations intended for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
  6. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
  7. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  8. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
  9. Adjusted by the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The Enrollment Mix Index (EMI) is not applied to sector-level data.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

State Public Financial Aid

Map 3.3

Map of State Public Financial Aid Per FTE, FY 2020

State public financial aid i i State public financial aid State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans. These funds are included in education appropriations. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS has increased steadily despite economic recessions that negatively impacted the rest of education appropriations. The SHEF data collection on financial aid goes back to 2001. From that year on, financial aid per FTE has increased in all but three years.

State public financial aid per FTE increased 7.0% from 2019 to 2020 and reached an all-time high of $830 per FTE enrolled student. Nationally, state public financial aid has increased 29.6% since 2008 and 62.6% since 2001. Because financial aid per FTE has a low base, percent increases represent smaller dollar-amount increases than similar figures in the other revenue metrics. The 7.0% increase in the last year corresponded to an additional $55 per FTE in financial aid.

1. State Comparisons

States vary considerably in the size and extent of their financial aid programs (Figure 3.3). In 2020, all states and Washington, D.C., had at least one public financial aid program. Public state financial aid ranged from under $100 per FTE in four states (Arizona, Michigan, Montana, and New Hampshire) to over $2,000 per FTE in another four states (Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee).

Since 2001, per-student aid has increased in 38 states. Despite the longstanding increases in financial aid nationally, per-student aid has decreased in 17 states and Washington, D.C., in the last year (Table 3.3). The largest percent decrease was in Michigan (26.7%), but this was only a $6 decrease per FTE. Most of Michigan’s state financial aid is funded through federal dollars, excluded from SHEF. 24 24Michigan reported $5.2 million in state public financial aid in 2020. However, their state financial aid programs also received $130.8 million in federal dollars from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Other states, like California, also use TANF for state financial aid programs; these funds are not included in SHEF education appropriations. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Outside of Michigan, the largest decline in financial aid was in Alabama (12.7% or $78 per FTE). Of the 33 states with increases from 2019 to 2020, financial aid per FTE increased more than 10% in ten states, and there were notable increases in California, Idaho, Iowa, and Montana.

Figure 3.3

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. Data for the District of Columbia are not available prior to 2011.
  3. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  4. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.3

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid Per FTE by State, FY 2001-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 2001 2010 2015 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 % Change Since 2015 % Change Since 2010 % Change Since 2001
Alabama $160 $254 $401 $612 $534 -12.7% 33.4% 110.1% 234.3%
Alaska $0 $39 $673 $718 $708 -1.5% 5.2% 1715.0% N/A
Arizona $29 $54 $46 $40 $36 -8.6% -21.4% -32.3% 26.2%
Arkansas $645 $727 $1,354 $1,056 $1,112 5.2% -17.9% 53.0% 72.3%
California $361 $556 $840 $660 $813 23.1% -3.2% 46.1% 125.2%
Colorado $673 $587 $820 $956 $1,048 9.6% 27.9% 78.6% 55.7%
Connecticut $476 $431 $292 $284 $290 2.1% -0.8% -32.7% -39.0%
Delaware $441 $433 $366 $376 $380 1.0% 3.6% -12.3% -14.0%
Florida $815 $1,027 $677 $1,248 $1,343 7.6% 98.2% 30.7% 64.7%
Georgia $1,795 $2,147 $1,879 $2,125 $2,225 4.7% 18.4% 3.6% 24.0%
Hawaii $11 $77 $77 $122 $121 -0.3% 57.7% 58.4% 1028.2%
Idaho $100 $147 $134 $324 $449 38.6% 235.6% 205.9% 350.4%
Illinois $1,062 $716 $675 $846 $926 9.5% 37.3% 29.4% -12.8%
Indiana $580 $809 $1,057 $1,165 $1,120 -3.8% 6.0% 38.4% 93.0%
Iowa $51 $89 $119 $88 $211 139.7% 76.6% 136.2% 315.3%
Kansas $113 $114 $109 $121 $122 0.5% 11.3% 6.4% 7.4%
Kentucky $308 $1,163 $1,184 $1,317 $1,359 3.2% 14.8% 16.8% 341.8%
Louisiana $829 $1,089 $1,865 $2,048 $2,028 -1.0% 8.7% 86.1% 144.6%
Maine $429 $290 $261 $367 $382 4.3% 46.2% 31.6% -10.8%
Maryland $360 $356 $329 $351 $392 11.7% 19.1% 10.0% 8.9%
Massachusetts $595 $309 $332 $377 $386 2.6% 16.6% 25.0% -35.1%
Michigan $701 $123 $17 $23 $17 -26.7% -0.6% -86.4% -97.6%
Minnesota $709 $669 $695 $779 $777 -0.2% 11.9% 16.2% 9.6%
Mississippi $558 $258 $375 $367 $398 8.5% 5.9% 54.1% -28.8%
Missouri $296 $398 $635 $678 $762 12.4% 20.0% 91.6% 157.7%
Montana $146 $194 $199 $45 $70 55.5% -64.6% -63.7% -51.8%
Nebraska $52 $133 $182 $222 $241 8.5% 32.5% 81.8% 367.3%
Nevada $1,023 $1,150 $1,269 $1,491 $1,442 -3.3% 13.6% 25.4% 41.0%
New Hampshire $39 $76 $0 $90 $92 2.1% N/A 20.5% 133.5%
New Jersey $884 $1,007 $1,004 $1,250 $1,323 5.9% 31.8% 31.4% 49.7%
New Mexico $1,078 $342 $290 $274 $256 -6.7% -11.9% -25.2% -76.3%
New York $1,031 $1,174 $1,281 $1,442 $1,366 -5.3% 6.7% 16.3% 32.5%
North Carolina $301 $490 $462 $422 $405 -4.0% -12.3% -17.3% 34.6%
North Dakota $50 $270 $410 $470 $532 13.3% 29.8% 96.7% 963.7%
Ohio $307 $197 $229 $277 $309 11.3% 34.7% 56.5% 0.6%
Oklahoma $357 $902 $927 $943 $936 -0.8% 0.9% 3.7% 161.7%
Oregon $189 $513 $325 $530 $569 7.4% 75.2% 10.9% 201.8%
Pennsylvania $833 $696 $673 $631 $725 14.9% 7.7% 4.2% -13.0%
Rhode Island $167 $282 $140 $240 $221 -8.0% 57.8% -21.5% 32.5%
South Carolina $499 $1,773 $1,613 $2,153 $2,258 4.8% 40.0% 27.3% 352.7%
South Dakota $7 $133 $184 $315 $332 5.2% 80.0% 150.1% 4690.3%
Tennessee $294 $1,963 $1,909 $2,656 $2,728 2.7% 42.9% 39.0% 829.4%
Texas $20 $392 $321 $287 $301 5.0% -6.2% -23.1% 1406.0%
Utah $86 $125 $147 $218 $234 7.2% 59.5% 86.4% 171.6%
Vermont $474 $449 $417 $440 $416 -5.4% -0.2% -7.4% -12.1%
Virginia $488 $560 $618 $813 $891 9.5% 44.2% 59.2% 82.4%
Washington $684 $934 $1,295 $1,242 $1,430 15.2% 10.5% 53.1% 109.2%
West Virginia $394 $1,173 $1,252 $1,445 $1,494 3.4% 19.3% 27.3% 279.0%
Wisconsin $410 $423 $621 $601 $591 -1.7% -4.8% 39.7% 44.1%
Wyoming $1,004 $1,346 $1,340 $1,426 $1,373 -3.7% 2.5% 2.0% 36.8%
D.C. N/A N/A $1,170 $1,202 $1,007 -16.2% -13.9% N/A N/A
U.S. $511 $654 $709 $776 $830 7.0% 17.1% 26.9% 62.6%
Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. Financial aid data are not available prior to 2001. Over time, states have shifted from reporting appropriated student financial aid to reporting actual/awarded student financial aid. Any such updates are made to all historical data for each state.
  3. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. Data for the District of Columbia are not available prior to 2011.
  4. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI), Enrollment Mix Index (EMI), and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The District of Columbia is not adjusted for COLI or EMI.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Measurement Note: Financial Aid

For this year’s SHEF report, we asked states to provide state financial aid by sector. For many statewide programs, there is not a separate financial aid appropriation for two-year and four-year public institutions, and actual allocations must be reported to obtain accurate sector-level data. As a result, many states switched from reporting financial aid appropriations to reporting actual allocations by sector. A handful of states, including those with multiple sector-level data providers, have always provided financial aid allocations. For most states, this reporting change is noteworthy because financial aid awards depend on the number of students who qualify and apply for each aid program, and appropriations rarely match allocations. In all cases, prior year data were corrected to match the new reporting methodology, or unallocated funds were listed as “uncategorizable public aid” to ensure continuity in state support definitions over time. Nevertheless, this reporting change marks a departure from the historical practice of SHEF reporting state appropriations for financial aid.

2. Sector Comparisons

Table 3.3A presents new data on state financial aid allocated to FTE students attending the public two-year and four-year sectors, separately. In some cases, states were not able to identify the sector for some of their financial aid dollars. In those cases, the funds were listed as “uncategorizable” and are excluded from this section. 25 25Overall, 3% of state public financial aid was uncategorizable. Thirty-two states were able to classify all state public financial aid by sector and listed no uncategorizable aid. In six states, more than 5% of aid could not be classified by sector: West Virginia (12.2%), Maryland (13.4%), Colorado (13.7%), Pennsylvania, (19.7%), Michigan (20.9%), and Alabama (90.0%). VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

At two-year institutions, state public financial aid increased 9.5% from 2019 to 2020, reaching $477 per FTE. Aid ranged from $5 in Michigan to $2,991 in Tennessee. Overall, in 2020, eight states awarded less than $100 in financial aid per FTE at two-year institutions; six awarded more than $1,000 per FTE.

  • Over the last year, aid to two-year institutions increased in 35 states. The largest increase was 252.2% in Iowa ($307 per FTE) due to a newly established financial aid program (Future Ready Iowa). There were declines in 14 states and Washington, D.C. The largest decline was 17.9% in Wisconsin ($88 per FTE).

State public financial aid at four-year institutions increased 6.0% in the last year, reaching $1,021 nationally. Although four-year institutions saw a smaller percentage increase, they received a larger per-FTE increase ($57) than two-year institutions ($41). Aid ranged from $11 per FTE in New Hampshire to $2,766 in Georgia. Six states awarded less than $100 per FTE in financial aid to students attending four-year institutions, while 17 states awarded more than $1,000 per FTE.

  • From 2019 to 2020, four-year aid allocations increased in 32 states. The largest increases were in states with relatively small financial aid programs (Montana and New Hampshire). Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., had decreases in per-FTE financial aid this year. While Michigan had the largest percent decrease (23.1%, representing $5 per FTE), Washington D.C., had the largest real decline (16.2% or $188 per FTE).

Figure 3.3A displays the disparity in state financial aid between the two- and four-year public sectors within each state. States on the left side of the figure (the light blue bars) have higher per-FTE financial aid in the two-year sector, while states on the right side of the figure (the dark blue bars) have relatively higher per-FTE financial aid in the four-year sector. Note that while most states have greater financial aid in the four-year sector (73% higher, on aveage), this is expected as the four-year sector has much higher tuition rates. New Hampshire is the state with the largest disparity favoring its two-year sector, while Ohio has the largest disparity favoring its four-year sector.

Figure 3.3A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education State Financial Aid Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses. Differences in aid amounts across sector capture variation in the proportion of students receiving an award as well as differences in average award size.
  2. Alaska and the District of Columbia are excluded from this figure because they do not have any public two-year institutions.
  3. Alabama is not able to determine the sector for 90% of their state public financial aid at this time. Funds listed here include financial aid distributed through the Alabama Commission on Higher Education only and do not reflect all state financial aid.
  4. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.3A

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid Per FTE by Sector and State, FY 2019-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

Two-Year Financial Aid Four-Year Financial Aid
State 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019
Alabama $29 $37 0.08 26.8% $47 $58 0.06 25.5%
Alaska $0 $0 0.00 N/A $707 $697 0.68 -1.5%
Arizona $6 $6 0.01 -0.7% $61 $53 0.05 -12.9%
Arkansas $289 $313 0.66 8.2% $1,340 $1,367 1.34 2.1%
California $241 $324 0.68 34.6% $1,135 $1,330 1.30 17.2%
Colorado $922 $1,033 2.16 12.0% $814 $902 0.88 10.8%
Connecticut $315 $305 0.64 -2.9% $277 $290 0.28 4.8%
Delaware $99 $103 0.22 3.8% $518 $516 0.51 -0.4%
Florida $477 $483 1.01 1.4% $2,154 $2,324 2.28 7.9%
Georgia $823 $892 1.87 8.4% $2,656 $2,766 2.71 4.1%
Hawaii $156 $157 0.33 0.8% $104 $103 0.10 -1.0%
Idaho $146 $242 0.51 66.0% $389 $515 0.50 32.6%
Illinois $328 $371 0.78 13.3% $1,230 $1,353 1.32 9.9%
Indiana $655 $659 1.38 0.7% $1,443 $1,374 1.35 -4.8%
Iowa $121 $428 0.90 252.2% $56 $58 0.06 3.3%
Kansas $21 $22 0.05 1.9% $194 $193 0.19 -0.4%
Kentucky $1,432 $1,548 3.24 8.1% $1,300 $1,309 1.28 0.7%
Louisiana $440 $460 0.96 4.6% $2,630 $2,595 2.54 -1.3%
Maine $430 $442 0.93 2.7% $291 $306 0.30 5.4%
Maryland $77 $118 0.25 52.6% $421 $466 0.46 10.8%
Massachusetts $386 $342 0.72 -11.4% $363 $394 0.39 8.5%
Michigan $6 $5 0.01 -17.6% $23 $17 0.02 -23.1%
Minnesota $520 $525 1.10 0.8% $943 $936 0.92 -0.7%
Mississippi $132 $157 0.33 19.0% $543 $576 0.56 6.0%
Missouri $867 $1,075 2.25 24.0% $572 $602 0.59 5.3%
Montana $24 $47 0.10 93.6% $50 $74 0.07 48.9%
Nebraska $211 $222 0.47 5.1% $240 $263 0.26 9.6%
Nevada $672 $650 1.36 -3.3% $1,483 $1,434 1.40 -3.3%
New Hampshire $309 $307 0.64 -0.6% $4 $11 0.01 175.5%
New Jersey $514 $557 1.17 8.4% $1,660 $1,733 1.70 4.4%
New Mexico $269 $249 0.52 -7.4% $257 $244 0.24 -5.0%
New York $1,101 $996 2.09 -9.5% $1,553 $1,493 1.46 -3.8%
North Carolina $104 $98 0.21 -5.5% $671 $653 0.64 -2.7%
North Dakota $433 $520 1.09 19.9% $469 $523 0.51 11.7%
Ohio $36 $36 0.08 2.7% $335 $400 0.39 19.5%
Oklahoma $648 $763 1.60 17.7% $1,058 $988 0.97 -6.7%
Oregon $697 $788 1.65 13.1% $431 $443 0.43 2.8%
Pennsylvania $332 $354 0.74 6.6% $602 $688 0.67 14.3%
Rhode Island $313 $286 0.60 -8.6% $193 $180 0.18 -6.9%
South Carolina $2,240 $2,485 5.21 10.9% $2,187 $2,216 2.17 1.3%
South Dakota $189 $218 0.46 15.2% $334 $348 0.34 4.2%
Tennessee $3,052 $2,991 6.27 -2.0% $2,370 $2,519 2.47 6.3%
Texas $188 $200 0.42 6.6% $374 $389 0.38 4.0%
Utah $80 $93 0.20 17.0% $260 $276 0.27 5.8%
Vermont $845 $740 1.55 -12.4% $377 $367 0.36 -2.6%
Virginia $580 $683 1.43 17.7% $966 $1,032 1.01 6.8%
Washington $761 $883 1.85 16.1% $1,717 $1,948 1.91 13.5%
West Virginia $1,088 $1,428 2.99 31.3% $1,426 $1,412 1.38 -1.0%
Wisconsin $494 $406 0.85 -17.9% $674 $691 0.68 2.4%
Wyoming $625 $624 1.31 -0.2% $2,000 $1,903 1.86 -4.8%
D.C. $0 $0 0.00 N/A $1,159 $971 0.95 -16.2%
U.S. $436 $477 1.00 9.5% $964 $1,021 1.00 6.0%
Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
  3. Alabama is not able to determine the sector for 90% of their state public financial aid at this time. Funds listed here include financial aid distributed through the Alabama Commission on Higher Education only and do not reflect all state financial aid.
  4. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  5. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
  6. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI) and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The Enrollment Mix Index (EMI) is not applied to sector-level data.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Financial Aid Share

Financial aid is one component of education appropriations, and its share of education appropriations has increased over time. This section provides data on state public financial aid as a percent of education appropriations by state and sector. i i State aid as a percent of education appropriations State aid as a percent of education appropriations measures allocations to state scholarships or other state financial aid for students attending public in-state institutions, as a proportion of total state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

1. State Comparisons

States vary considerably in how much of their total funding is allocated to student financial aid (Table 3.4). On the low end, Michigan has a very small aid program that comprises only 0.2% of its total education appropriations. On the high end, in two Southern states (Louisiana and South Carolina), the financial aid allocation is more than 30% of their total funding for public higher education (Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  3. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. Data for the District of Columbia are not available prior to 2011.
  4. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  6. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.4

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by State, FY 2001-2020

State 2001 2005 2010 2015 2019 2020 Change Since 2019 Change Since 2015 Chance Since 2010 Change Since 2005 Chance Since 2001
Alabama 1.8% 2.1% 3.3% 5.8% 8.1% 6.7% -1.4 0.9 3.3 4.6 4.9
Alaska 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 4.1% 4.5% 4.4% -0.1 0.3 4.1 4.4 4.4
Arizona 0.3% 0.3% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.0 -0.1 0.0 0.4 0.3
Arkansas 6.7% 4.3% 7.7% 15.2% 12.6% 12.6% 0.1 -2.6 4.9 8.3 6.0
California 3.9% 5.8% 7.4% 10.3% 7.1% 8.5% 1.4 -1.8 1.1 2.7 4.6
Colorado 10.4% 12.6% 11.9% 20.3% 20.4% 20.4% 0.0 0.1 8.5 7.8 10.0
Connecticut 3.1% 2.5% 3.2% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4% 0.0 0.0 -0.8 -0.1 -0.6
Delaware 5.1% 5.4% 6.0% 6.6% 6.6% 6.4% -0.2 -0.2 0.3 0.9 1.2
Florida 8.1% 10.4% 14.9% 10.2% 16.4% 17.4% 1.0 7.2 2.6 7.0 9.3
Georgia 12.6% 18.3% 22.8% 20.9% 21.0% 21.5% 0.5 0.6 -1.3 3.3 8.9
Hawaii 0.1% 0.1% 0.7% 0.7% 0.8% 0.8% 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.7 0.7
Idaho 0.8% 2.0% 1.5% 1.5% 3.3% 4.5% 1.2 3.0 3.0 2.5 3.8
Illinois 7.4% 7.1% 5.2% 4.1% 4.9% 5.2% 0.3 1.1 0.0 -1.8 -2.2
Indiana 6.4% 9.6% 12.7% 16.8% 17.8% 17.5% -0.3 0.7 4.9 7.9 11.2
Iowa 0.5% 1.1% 1.2% 1.8% 1.4% 3.2% 1.8 1.4 2.0 2.1 2.7
Kansas 1.1% 1.1% 1.6% 1.6% 1.7% 1.6% -0.1 0.1 0.1 0.5 0.6
Kentucky 2.5% 13.1% 12.4% 15.1% 17.4% 18.0% 0.6 2.9 5.6 4.9 15.6
Louisiana 10.3% 11.1% 12.4% 29.8% 33.7% 33.0% -0.7 3.2 20.6 21.9 22.7
Maine 4.2% 3.7% 3.9% 3.6% 4.6% 4.7% 0.1 1.1 0.8 1.0 0.6
Maryland 3.7% 5.1% 4.7% 4.4% 4.3% 4.5% 0.2 0.0 -0.3 -0.7 0.7
Massachusetts 5.5% 4.6% 4.4% 4.4% 4.5% 4.4% -0.1 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -1.0
Michigan 5.7% 4.4% 1.7% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% -0.1 0.0 -1.5 -4.2 -5.5
Minnesota 6.6% 6.6% 8.5% 9.9% 10.1% 9.7% -0.5 -0.3 1.1 3.1 3.0
Mississippi 5.0% 4.4% 2.8% 4.6% 5.4% 5.6% 0.2 0.9 2.7 1.2 0.5
Missouri 2.3% 2.1% 4.5% 7.8% 9.0% 8.6% -0.4 0.8 4.1 6.6 6.3
Montana 2.3% 2.5% 3.2% 3.1% 0.7% 1.0% 0.3 -2.1 -2.1 -1.5 -1.3
Nebraska 0.6% 1.1% 1.4% 1.9% 2.2% 2.3% 0.1 0.4 0.9 1.2 1.7
Nevada 9.8% 14.0% 11.1% 15.0% 15.8% 15.3% -0.5 0.3 4.2 1.3 5.5
New Hampshire 0.7% 1.7% 2.1% 0.0% 3.0% 2.1% -0.8 2.1 0.0 0.4 1.4
New Jersey 8.2% 8.0% 10.9% 12.9% 15.5% 17.1% 1.6 4.2 6.2 9.1 8.9
New Mexico 10.0% 8.7% 3.7% 2.6% 2.3% 1.8% -0.5 -0.8 -1.9 -7.0 -8.2
New York 9.6% 12.5% 11.1% 11.9% 11.9% 11.2% -0.8 -0.7 0.1 -1.4 1.5
North Carolina 2.3% 5.9% 4.7% 4.5% 3.8% 3.8% -0.1 -0.7 -0.9 -2.2 1.5
North Dakota 0.7% 0.9% 3.4% 4.2% 5.6% 6.0% 0.4 1.8 2.6 5.1 5.3
Ohio 3.1% 5.5% 3.1% 3.6% 4.2% 4.8% 0.6 1.2 1.7 -0.7 1.7
Oklahoma 3.4% 6.6% 8.9% 10.8% 15.2% 14.6% -0.6 3.9 5.8 8.1 11.3
Oregon 2.5% 3.6% 10.4% 6.6% 8.5% 8.2% -0.3 1.5 -2.2 4.6 5.7
Pennsylvania 8.6% 9.8% 11.7% 14.5% 12.4% 13.4% 1.0 -1.1 1.7 3.6 4.8
Rhode Island 1.9% 3.9% 5.5% 2.7% 3.6% 3.2% -0.4 0.5 -2.3 -0.7 1.3
South Carolina 6.1% 24.0% 28.7% 29.6% 35.4% 34.3% -1.1 4.7 5.6 10.3 28.1
South Dakota 0.1% 0.5% 2.0% 3.0% 4.7% 4.3% -0.4 1.3 2.3 3.8 4.2
Tennessee 3.1% 9.6% 19.8% 22.5% 25.7% 24.9% -0.8 2.4 5.0 15.3 21.8
Texas 0.2% 0.9% 4.0% 4.0% 3.5% 3.7% 0.2 -0.3 -0.3 2.8 3.5
Utah 1.0% 1.4% 1.8% 2.0% 2.8% 2.8% 0.0 0.8 1.0 1.4 1.8
Vermont 11.7% 12.3% 13.5% 14.2% 14.9% 12.3% -2.6 -1.9 -1.2 0.0 0.6
Virginia 5.3% 6.9% 9.2% 11.5% 13.4% 13.7% 0.3 2.2 4.5 6.8 8.4
Washington 8.0% 10.2% 13.1% 20.4% 15.9% 16.6% 0.7 -3.8 3.5 6.4 8.6
West Virginia 5.4% 13.9% 19.3% 22.1% 26.8% 25.3% -1.5 3.2 6.0 11.4 19.9
Wisconsin 3.6% 4.6% 4.8% 7.4% 7.3% 7.1% -0.2 -0.2 2.3 2.5 3.6
Wyoming 7.9% 4.8% 8.7% 7.4% 7.4% 6.3% -1.1 -1.1 -2.4 1.5 -1.6
D.C. N/A N/A N/A 7.0% 6.2% 4.7% -1.5 -2.2 N/A N/A N/A
U.S. 5.1% 6.9% 8.0% 9.0% 9.2% 9.6% 0.4 0.6 1.6 2.7 4.6
Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  3. Financial aid data are not available prior to 2001. Over time, states have shifted from reporting appropriated student financial aid to reporting actual/awarded student financial aid. Any such updates are made to all historical data for each state.
  4. Year change columns show percentage point increases or decreases, not percent change.
  5. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. Data for the District of Columbia are not available prior to 2011.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

The percent of education appropriations allocated to financial aid differs for two- and four-year institutions (Table 3.4A). In fiscal year 2020, 5.8% of funding at two-year institutions went to financial aid, compared to 12.2% at four-year institutions.

  • The financial aid allocation at two-year institutions ranges from 0.1% in Arizona and Michigan to 33.5% in South Carolina. Seven states have a two-year financial aid allocation of less than 1%.
  • At four-year institutions, Michigan has the lowest financial aid allocation (0.3%), and Louisiana has the highest (40.7%). Five states have a four-year financial aid allocation of less than 1%.

Figure 3.4A shows the difference in the financial aid allocation between two- and four-year institutions. In states on the figure’s left side (the light blue bars), the financial aid allocation is highest in the two-year sector. Most states are on the right side of Figure 3.4A (the dark blue bars). In the majority of states, the mix of funding for four-year institutions leans more toward student aid than at two-year institutions. Still, no sector or state allocates more than 40% of education appropriations to financial aid. States in the middle of the figure with no discernable bar have the same financial aid allocation across sectors.

Figure 3.4A

Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations exclude federal stimulus funding.
  3. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.4A

State Public Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by Sector and State, FY 2019-2020

Two-Year Financial Aid Share Four-Year Financial Aid Share
State 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average Change Since 2019 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average Chance Since 2019
Alabama 0.4% 0.5% 0.08 0.1 0.7% 0.9% 0.07 0.2
Alaska N/A N/A N/A N/A 4.5% 4.4% 0.36 -0.1
Arizona 0.1% 0.1% 0.01 0.0 1.7% 1.6% 0.13 -0.1
Arkansas 3.4% 3.7% 0.63 0.3 16.6% 16.7% 1.37 0.1
California 2.8% 3.8% 0.66 1.1 13.1% 14.0% 1.15 0.9
Colorado 15.2% 15.5% 2.66 0.3 19.5% 19.8% 1.62 0.2
Connecticut 3.5% 3.2% 0.55 -0.3 2.9% 3.2% 0.27 0.3
Delaware 1.1% 1.0% 0.18 0.0 9.2% 8.9% 0.73 -0.3
Florida 9.9% 9.9% 1.69 0.0 19.3% 20.7% 1.70 1.4
Georgia 11.7% 12.6% 2.15 0.9 27.3% 27.5% 2.26 0.2
Hawaii 1.3% 1.3% 0.23 0.0 0.7% 0.7% 0.06 0.0
Idaho 2.7% 4.1% 0.71 1.5 4.2% 5.7% 0.47 1.4
Illinois 2.7% 3.0% 0.51 0.3 6.2% 6.6% 0.54 0.3
Indiana 11.1% 11.2% 1.92 0.0 20.4% 20.0% 1.65 -0.3
Iowa 1.8% 6.0% 1.03 4.2 0.9% 0.8% 0.07 0.0
Kansas 0.2% 0.2% 0.04 0.0 3.2% 3.0% 0.25 -0.1
Kentucky 23.3% 25.0% 4.29 1.8 16.1% 16.2% 1.33 0.1
Louisiana 11.8% 12.2% 2.09 0.3 41.1% 40.7% 3.35 -0.4
Maine 5.9% 6.1% 1.04 0.2 3.8% 3.9% 0.32 0.1
Maryland 1.0% 1.4% 0.25 0.4 5.2% 5.3% 0.44 0.1
Massachusetts 5.6% 4.6% 0.79 -1.1 4.3% 4.5% 0.37 0.2
Michigan 0.1% 0.1% 0.01 0.0 0.3% 0.3% 0.02 0.0
Minnesota 8.1% 7.8% 1.33 -0.3 11.9% 11.4% 0.94 -0.4
Mississippi 2.1% 2.4% 0.41 0.3 8.1% 8.2% 0.67 0.1
Missouri 12.6% 12.5% 2.15 -0.1 7.6% 7.0% 0.57 -0.6
Montana 0.4% 0.8% 0.13 0.3 0.8% 1.1% 0.09 0.3
Nebraska 1.8% 1.7% 0.30 -0.1 2.5% 2.7% 0.22 0.2
Nevada 10.0% 10.1% 1.74 0.2 17.1% 16.3% 1.34 -0.8
New Hampshire 6.8% 5.3% 0.90 -1.5 0.2% 0.5% 0.04 0.3
New Jersey 12.7% 13.8% 2.37 1.1 16.2% 17.9% 1.47 1.7
New Mexico 2.6% 2.1% 0.36 -0.5 1.9% 1.5% 0.12 -0.4
New York 12.3% 10.5% 1.80 -1.7 11.9% 11.6% 0.95 -0.3
North Carolina 1.3% 1.2% 0.21 0.0 5.3% 5.3% 0.44 0.0
North Dakota 6.0% 6.6% 1.14 0.7 6.3% 6.7% 0.55 0.5
Ohio 0.5% 0.5% 0.09 0.0 5.4% 6.4% 0.53 1.0
Oklahoma 11.2% 11.6% 1.99 0.4 17.0% 16.1% 1.32 -0.9
Oregon 8.0% 7.8% 1.34 -0.1 9.5% 8.9% 0.74 -0.5
Pennsylvania 6.0% 6.1% 1.04 0.0 11.9% 13.1% 1.08 1.2
Rhode Island 6.1% 5.6% 0.96 -0.5 3.6% 3.3% 0.27 -0.3
South Carolina 32.4% 33.5% 5.73 1.1 38.4% 35.9% 2.95 -2.5
South Dakota 3.8% 3.7% 0.64 0.0 5.4% 5.2% 0.43 -0.2
Tennessee 32.4% 31.9% 5.46 -0.6 23.6% 23.6% 1.94 0.0
Texas 2.6% 2.6% 0.45 0.0 4.7% 5.3% 0.44 0.6
Utah 0.9% 0.9% 0.16 0.1 3.4% 3.4% 0.28 -0.1
Vermont 30.3% 25.5% 4.36 -4.8 12.7% 12.5% 1.03 -0.2
Virginia 11.9% 13.1% 2.25 1.2 15.0% 15.0% 1.24 0.1
Washington 11.4% 11.6% 1.99 0.3 20.5% 21.5% 1.77 1.0
West Virginia 15.3% 17.9% 3.07 2.6 27.7% 25.2% 2.07 -2.6
Wisconsin 4.1% 3.1% 0.53 -1.0 12.0% 12.7% 1.04 0.6
Wyoming 3.8% 3.9% 0.67 0.1 10.8% 10.1% 0.83 -0.8
D.C. N/A N/A N/A N/A 6.2% 4.7% 0.39 -1.5
U.S. 5.5% 5.8% 1.00 0.4 11.7% 12.2% 1.00 0.5
Notes:
  1. State public financial aid is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions, excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools. For many states, state public financial aid includes aid both for tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. Education appropriations are a measure of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  3. Year change columns show percentage point increases or decreases, not percent change.
  4. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
  5. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  6. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Net Tuition Revenue

Map 4.1

Map of Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE, FY 2020

Since 1980, net tuition revenue i i Net tuition revenue Net tuition revenue is the total amount of tuition and fees, minus state and institutional financial aid and medical tuition and fees. Net tuition is affected by changes in tuition rates as well as proportional differences in out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS per FTE has increased in all but four years (2000, 2001, 2019, 2020). Overall, annual tuition revenue increases are 2.7% above inflation.

Public institutions received $6,726 in net tuition revenue from in-state and out-of-state students in 2020, down 1.0% from last year. The decline in net tuition revenue is due mostly to increases in state public financial aid, but even after considering the effects of financial aid, net tuition revenue per FTE did not keep up with inflation in either of the last two years. Net tuition revenue is impacted by changes in tuition rates but also variation in the proportion of out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment over the last decade. Nationally, inflation-adjusted net tuition revenue per FTE has increased substantially over time: 188.7% since the start of the SHEF dataset in 1980; 25.8% in the last ten years; and only 0.2% in the last five years.

1. State Comparisons

Net tuition revenue per FTE ranges widely across the states due to differences in the mix of students paying different tuition rates, the availability of state public financial aid, and whether institutions can freely raise their tuition rates. On the low end, net tuition revenue is less than $3,000 per FTE in California and Florida. On the high end, net tuition revenue is over $18,000 in Delaware. Eight states have net tuition revenue averages below $5,000 per FTE, and 11 states are above $10,000 per FTE (Figure 4.1).

  • Net tuition revenue per FTE declined in 26 states and Washington, D.C., between 2019 and 2020. The greatest decreases were 7.1% and 7.0% in Florida and Wyoming, respectively (Table 4.1).
  • Of the 24 states with net tuition revenue increases, five had increases higher than 5% (Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma). The largest per-student increase in net tuition revenue was $834 in Missouri (12.1%). 26 26Pennsylvania’s fiscal year 2020 net tuition revenue is an estimate and subject to change. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

Since 1980, net tuition revenue per FTE has increased in every state, and by more than 100% in 43 states. The smallest increase was 30.9% in Nevada; the largest increases, each more than 400%, were in Alabama, Connecticut, and Hawaii. Only Florida has had a decline in net tuition revenue per FTE since 2001.

Figure 4.1

Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees. Net tuition revenue used for capital debt service is included in the net tuition revenue figures above.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  3. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  4. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

State Spotlight : Florida

FL

Florida is the only state with a decline in net tuition revenue per FTE over the last two decades. The reason for this decline is twofold: First, there have been long-standing limits on tuition-rate increases at Florida’s public colleges and universities, and undergraduate tuition rates have not increased since 2014. 28 28Florida Statutes. Title XLVIII. K-20 Education Code. Ch. 1009. Educational Scholarships, Fees, and Financial Assistance. (2020) . http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1009/1009.html VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Second, the state and its public institutions have increased per-FTE commitments to student financial aid (subtracted from net tuition revenue).

Since 2001, total inflation-adjusted tuition revenue per FTE (which includes state and institutional financial aid) has increased only 1.1% in Florida. State aid has increased 64.7%, from $815 to $1,343 per FTE. Institutional financial aid has increased 66.1%, from $348 to $579 per FTE. As a result, net tuition revenue (which excludes state and institutional financial aid) declined 23.1% from 2001 to 2020.

Table 4.1

Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE by State, FY 1980-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 1980 2001 2010 2015 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 % Change Since 2015 % Change Since 2010 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama $2,729 $6,524 $9,585 $13,470 $14,937 $14,513 -2.8% 7.7% 51.4% 122.5% 4.3
Alaska $2,313 $3,082 $4,396 $4,303 $4,807 $4,879 1.5% 13.4% 11.0% 58.3% 1.1
Arizona $2,101 $4,144 $5,822 $8,052 $8,788 $8,397 -4.4% 4.3% 44.2% 102.6% 3.0
Arkansas $2,923 $3,458 $5,248 $6,261 $7,199 $7,233 0.5% 15.5% 37.8% 109.1% 1.5
California $689 $1,055 $1,791 $2,585 $2,944 $2,799 -4.9% 8.3% 56.3% 165.3% 3.1
Colorado $3,114 $4,650 $7,227 $9,241 $10,488 $10,608 1.1% 14.8% 46.8% 128.1% 2.4
Connecticut $2,152 $5,275 $6,917 $9,381 $11,416 $11,998 5.1% 27.9% 73.4% 127.5% 4.6
Delaware $4,541 $10,084 $13,342 $16,021 $17,129 $18,242 6.5% 13.9% 36.7% 80.9% 3.0
Florida $1,666 $3,071 $2,449 $3,611 $2,541 $2,360 -7.1% -34.6% -3.6% -23.1% 0.4
Georgia $2,050 $2,523 $3,013 $5,447 $5,157 $5,181 0.5% -4.9% 71.9% 105.4% 1.5
Hawaii $937 $2,449 $4,292 $5,087 $4,992 $4,889 -2.1% -3.9% 13.9% 99.6% 4.2
Idaho $2,056 $3,034 $3,432 $5,253 $4,151 $3,963 -4.5% -24.6% 15.5% 30.6% 0.9
Illinois $1,856 $3,288 $6,173 $8,231 $8,634 $8,119 -6.0% -1.4% 31.5% 147.0% 3.4
Indiana $3,495 $6,445 $8,044 $9,983 $9,999 $10,062 0.6% 0.8% 25.1% 56.1% 1.9
Iowa $3,188 $5,853 $8,295 $10,016 $10,444 $10,433 -0.1% 4.2% 25.8% 78.2% 2.3
Kansas $2,825 $4,246 $5,983 $7,088 $7,261 $7,217 -0.6% 1.8% 20.6% 70.0% 1.6
Kentucky $2,668 $5,294 $6,623 $8,947 $9,048 $8,994 -0.6% 0.5% 35.8% 69.9% 2.4
Louisiana $2,072 $2,883 $3,321 $5,435 $5,569 $5,462 -1.9% 0.5% 64.5% 89.4% 1.6
Maine $3,296 $6,096 $7,857 $7,843 $7,363 $7,264 -1.4% -7.4% -7.6% 19.1% 1.2
Maryland $2,575 $5,718 $6,957 $7,376 $7,657 $7,685 0.4% 4.2% 10.5% 34.4% 2.0
Massachusetts $2,387 $4,454 $6,084 $5,580 $5,706 $5,871 2.9% 5.2% -3.5% 31.8% 1.5
Michigan $4,195 $7,400 $11,035 $13,795 $14,612 $15,167 3.8% 9.9% 37.4% 105.0% 2.6
Minnesota $2,377 $4,508 $8,735 $9,529 $9,706 $9,914 2.1% 4.0% 13.5% 119.9% 3.2
Mississippi $3,160 $4,343 $5,787 $7,567 $8,245 $8,280 0.4% 9.4% 43.1% 90.7% 1.6
Missouri $2,992 $4,826 $5,944 $7,887 $6,880 $7,714 12.1% -2.2% 29.8% 59.9% 1.6
Montana $2,140 $4,738 $6,389 $7,139 $7,598 $7,510 -1.2% 5.2% 17.6% 58.5% 2.5
Nebraska $2,448 $4,157 $4,370 $6,408 $6,918 $7,073 2.2% 10.4% 61.9% 70.1% 1.9
Nevada $2,324 $3,000 $3,458 $4,467 $3,076 $3,043 -1.1% -31.9% -12.0% 1.4% 0.3
New Hampshire $5,932 $10,428 $9,313 $11,141 $10,569 $10,513 -0.5% -5.6% 12.9% 0.8% 0.8
New Jersey $1,979 $6,792 $7,992 $10,030 $7,443 $7,301 -1.9% -27.2% -8.6% 7.5% 2.7
New Mexico $2,048 $1,352 $2,705 $3,848 $3,697 $4,009 8.4% 4.2% 48.2% 196.4% 1.0
New York $2,768 $4,527 $5,104 $6,157 $6,139 $6,279 2.3% 2.0% 23.0% 38.7% 1.3
North Carolina $2,031 $3,122 $3,456 $5,267 $5,472 $5,146 -6.0% -2.3% 48.9% 64.9% 1.5
North Dakota $2,497 $4,934 $7,693 $8,452 $9,202 $9,435 2.5% 11.6% 22.6% 91.2% 2.8
Ohio $4,001 $6,815 $8,030 $9,799 $9,460 $9,797 3.6% 0.0% 22.0% 43.7% 1.4
Oklahoma $2,147 $2,888 $4,876 $6,762 $8,277 $8,699 5.1% 28.7% 78.4% 201.2% 3.1
Oregon $2,313 $4,252 $4,965 $7,851 $8,079 $7,853 -2.8% 0.0% 58.2% 84.7% 2.4
Pennsylvania $4,542 $9,179 $10,762 $10,994 $11,242 $10,676 -5.0% -2.9% -0.8% 16.3% 1.4
Rhode Island $3,144 $7,030 $8,156 $8,569 $9,495 $9,728 2.4% 13.5% 19.3% 38.4% 2.1
South Carolina $2,271 $4,778 $7,309 $9,562 $11,255 $11,187 -0.6% 17.0% 53.1% 134.1% 3.9
South Dakota $3,446 $6,439 $7,381 $8,252 $8,996 $8,865 -1.5% 7.4% 20.1% 37.7% 1.6
Tennessee $2,622 $4,780 $5,450 $7,731 $7,108 $6,959 -2.1% -10.0% 27.7% 45.6% 1.7
Texas $1,883 $4,939 $5,008 $5,547 $5,838 $5,522 -5.4% -0.5% 10.2% 11.8% 1.9
Utah $2,425 $3,072 $4,793 $6,210 $6,353 $6,509 2.5% 4.8% 35.8% 111.9% 1.7
Vermont $7,310 $12,548 $13,694 $15,142 $15,772 $15,330 -2.8% 1.2% 12.0% 22.2% 1.1
Virginia $2,348 $4,401 $7,028 $7,889 $8,624 $8,665 0.5% 9.8% 23.3% 96.9% 2.7
Washington $2,271 $2,642 $3,738 $6,066 $5,677 $5,895 3.8% -2.8% 57.7% 123.1% 1.6
West Virginia $1,799 $4,206 $6,033 $7,542 $7,545 $7,315 -3.0% -3.0% 21.2% 73.9% 3.1
Wisconsin $3,648 $3,994 $5,413 $6,659 $6,916 $6,980 0.9% 4.8% 29.0% 74.8% 0.9
Wyoming $2,525 $3,501 $2,264 $3,206 $3,968 $3,691 -7.0% 15.1% 63.0% 5.4% 0.5
D.C. N/A N/A N/A $6,319 $6,272 $6,001 -4.3% -5.0% N/A N/A N/A
U.S. $2,329 $4,106 $5,346 $6,710 $6,792 $6,726 -1.0% 0.2% 25.8% 63.8% 1.9
Notes:
  1. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. Data for the District of Columbia are not available prior to 2011.
  3. The years 1980 and 2001 are included in this table because they are the starting points of the historical SHEF dataset and modern SHEF data collection, respectively.
  4. FY 2020 includes estimated net tuition revenue for Pennsylvania.
  5. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI), Enrollment Mix Index (EMI), and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

Table 4.1A presents new data on net tuition revenue per FTE for the two- and four-year public sectors separately.

Net tuition revenue at two-year institutions averaged $2,606 per FTE in 2020, down 3.4% ($92 per FTE) from 2019. Net tuition ranged from a low of $270 per FTE in California (the only state with less than $1,000 per FTE in net tuition revenue in either sector) to over $6,000 per FTE in Iowa and Michigan.

In the last year, per-FTE tuition revenue declined at two-year institutions in 26 states. Four states had declines of greater than 10%: California, Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon. Of the 23 states with increases, the largest (and only increase above 10%) was 33.8% in Washington.

At four-year institutions, tuition revenue averaged $9,385 per FTE, 3.6 times the average tuition in the two-year sector. Only five states averaged less than $5,000 in four-year net tuition revenue per FTE: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. Florida had the lowest four-year tuition ($2,281). On the other hand, five states had net tuition revenue greater than $15,000 per FTE: Alabama, Delaware, Michigan, South Carolina, and Vermont. Delaware had the highest four-year net tuition revenue ($25,223 per FTE).

Figure 4.1A displays the disparity in net tuition revenue per FTE between the two- and four-year public sectors within each state. Only Florida is on the figure’s left side (the light blue bar), with higher per-FTE net tuition revenue in the two-year sector. All other states are on the figure’s right side (the dark blue bars), with relatively higher net tuition revenue per FTE in the four-year sector. California has the largest disparity in net tuition revenue across sectors.

Figure 4.1A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Net tuition revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees. Net tuition revenue used for capital debt service is included in net tuition revenue.
  2. Alaska and the District of Columbia are excluded from this figure because they do not have any public two-year institutions.
  3. FY 2019 and 2020 include estimated net tuition revenue for Idaho, and FY 2020 includes estimated net tuition revenue for Pennsylvania.
  4. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu). Baccalaureate/Associate’s Colleges and “less-than-two-year” degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 4.1A

Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue Per FTE by Sector and State, FY 2019-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

Two-Year Tuition Revenue Four-Year Tuition Revenue
State 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019
Alabama $5,665 $5,549 2.13 -2.1% $18,305 $17,690 1.88 -3.4%
Alaska $0 $0 0.00 N/A $4,732 $4,803 0.51 1.5%
Arizona $2,126 $2,160 0.83 1.6% $13,326 $12,169 1.30 -8.7%
Arkansas $4,565 $4,576 1.76 0.2% $8,222 $8,334 0.89 1.4%
California $361 $270 0.10 -25.4% $6,173 $5,907 0.63 -4.3%
Colorado $4,331 $4,185 1.61 -3.4% $14,030 $14,305 1.52 2.0%
Connecticut $5,624 $5,736 2.20 2.0% $13,774 $14,438 1.54 4.8%
Delaware $5,794 $5,801 2.23 0.1% $23,823 $25,223 2.69 5.9%
Florida $2,795 $2,691 1.03 -3.7% $2,552 $2,281 0.24 -10.6%
Georgia $3,152 $3,233 1.24 2.6% $6,074 $6,071 0.65 0.0%
Hawaii $2,753 $2,706 1.04 -1.7% $6,910 $6,722 0.72 -2.7%
Idaho $3,682 $3,681 1.41 0.0% $4,220 $3,953 0.42 -6.3%
Illinois $5,430 $4,536 1.74 -16.5% $10,793 $10,733 1.14 -0.6%
Indiana $3,577 $3,501 1.34 -2.1% $13,107 $13,178 1.40 0.5%
Iowa $6,369 $6,136 2.35 -3.7% $14,458 $14,646 1.56 1.3%
Kansas $3,015 $3,153 1.21 4.6% $10,485 $10,252 1.09 -2.2%
Kentucky $4,696 $4,256 1.63 -9.4% $11,183 $11,338 1.21 1.4%
Louisiana $4,052 $3,989 1.53 -1.5% $6,141 $6,017 0.64 -2.0%
Maine $3,247 $3,065 1.18 -5.6% $8,511 $8,492 0.90 -0.2%
Maryland $3,892 $3,895 1.49 0.1% $9,949 $9,880 1.05 -0.7%
Massachusetts $3,240 $3,506 1.35 8.2% $6,677 $6,702 0.71 0.4%
Michigan $6,482 $6,706 2.57 3.4% $19,169 $19,630 2.09 2.4%
Minnesota $5,144 $5,245 2.01 2.0% $12,697 $12,951 1.38 2.0%
Mississippi $4,721 $4,810 1.85 1.9% $10,769 $10,733 1.14 -0.3%
Missouri $2,282 $2,304 0.88 1.0% $8,805 $9,927 1.06 12.7%
Montana $1,757 $1,734 0.67 -1.3% $8,878 $8,755 0.93 -1.4%
Nebraska $2,895 $2,888 1.11 -0.2% $9,404 $9,473 1.01 0.7%
Nevada $1,610 $1,593 0.61 -1.0% $3,038 $3,005 0.32 -1.1%
New Hampshire $5,099 $5,062 1.94 -0.7% $12,039 $11,885 1.27 -1.3%
New Jersey $3,025 $2,954 1.13 -2.3% $9,910 $9,635 1.03 -2.8%
New Mexico $1,936 $2,071 0.79 6.9% $5,261 $5,819 0.62 10.6%
New York $4,230 $4,503 1.73 6.5% $6,908 $6,909 0.74 0.0%
North Carolina $1,895 $1,793 0.69 -5.4% $8,241 $7,823 0.83 -5.1%
North Dakota $3,775 $3,873 1.49 2.6% $10,235 $10,507 1.12 2.7%
Ohio $3,958 $3,531 1.36 -10.8% $11,703 $12,457 1.33 6.4%
Oklahoma $4,125 $4,223 1.62 2.4% $10,114 $10,475 1.12 3.6%
Oregon $3,766 $2,831 1.09 -24.8% $11,573 $11,633 1.24 0.5%
Pennsylvania $4,559 $4,451 1.71 -2.4% $14,183 $13,443 1.43 -5.2%
Rhode Island $4,457 $4,550 1.75 2.1% $11,017 $11,412 1.22 3.6%
South Carolina $4,814 $4,839 1.86 0.5% $14,510 $15,051 1.60 3.7%
South Dakota $3,432 $3,661 1.40 6.7% $9,959 $9,796 1.04 -1.6%
Tennessee $1,964 $2,001 0.77 1.9% $10,119 $9,912 1.06 -2.0%
Texas $2,279 $2,110 0.81 -7.4% $8,920 $8,425 0.90 -5.6%
Utah $2,971 $2,959 1.14 -0.4% $7,418 $7,582 0.81 2.2%
Vermont $5,283 $5,482 2.10 3.8% $17,234 $16,639 1.77 -3.5%
Virginia $3,968 $3,715 1.43 -6.4% $11,562 $11,626 1.24 0.6%
Washington $1,720 $2,301 0.88 33.8% $7,403 $9,458 1.01 27.7%
West Virginia $3,986 $3,678 1.41 -7.7% $9,199 $8,987 0.96 -2.3%
Wisconsin $2,959 $2,684 1.03 -9.3% $9,189 $9,116 0.97 -0.8%
Wyoming $2,611 $2,765 1.06 5.9% $4,677 $4,006 0.43 -14.4%
D.C. $0 $0 0.00 N/A $6,046 $5,784 0.62 -4.3%
U.S. $2,698 $2,606 1.00 -3.4% $9,436 $9,385 1.00 -0.5%
Notes:
  1. Net tuition revue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid, tuition waivers or discounts, and medical student tuition and fees.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. There are no two-year public institutions in Alaska or the District of Columbia.
  3. FY 2019 and 2020 include estimated net tuition revenue for Idaho, and FY 2020 includes estimated net tuition revenue for Pennsylvania.
  4. Sector-level data are a new component of the SHEF report and are not currently available for years prior to 2019.
  5. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
  6. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI) and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time. The Enrollment Mix Index (EMI) is not applied to sector-level data.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Total Education Revenue

Map 4.2

Map of Total Education Revenue Per FTE, FY 2020

Total education revenue i i Total education revenues Total education revenues refer to the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 1.2% from 2019 to 2020, reaching an all-time high of $15,276 per FTE. This marks the eighth year of total revenue increases following declines during the Great Recession. Total revenue has increased 7.6% since 2001 and 37.1% since the start of the SHEF dataset in 1980.

Record high total revenue does not indicate that all public institutions have more revenue than ever before. Following declines in state funding after the last two recessions, institutions varied widely in their ability to increase tuition revenue (either by increasing rates or out-of-state enrollment). Total education revenue is at an all-time high in only 21 states. Many institutions, particularly those that are the most reliant on state funding, have not been able to increase tuition revenue to offset declines in state funding and are not at an all-time high for total education revenue. 27 27State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. (2021). Investigating the impacts of state higher education appropriations and financial aid. Forthcoming. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

1. State Comparisons

Total education revenue per FTE ranges from a low of $10,074 in Florida to over $25,000 in Illinois and Wyoming and $27,329 in Washington, D.C. (Figure 4.2).

  • Public institutions in seven states and Washington, D.C., have more than $20,000 per FTE in education revenue. These funds are primarily sourced from education appropriations in Alaska, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming, and come mainly from tuition revenue in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, and Michigan.

  • Total revenue increased in 37 states and Washington, D.C., from 2019 to 2020 (Table 4.2). The largest increases were 14.7% in Missouri and 15.4% in New Mexico. Both states had large increases in education appropriations and moderate increases in net tuition revenue this year. Thirteen states had declines in per-FTE total revenue in 2020, the largest of which was 6.7% in Arkansas. No other state saw a decline greater than 5%.

  • Total revenue has increased in 34 states since 2001 and 48 states since 1980. The two states with inflation-adjusted declines in total education revenue per FTE since 1980 are Alaska (14.9%) and Idaho (2.6%).

Figure 4.2

Public Higher Education Total Education Revenue Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  3. Constant 2020 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  4. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Enrollment Mix Index (EMI).
  5. Adjusted to account for interstate differences using the Cost of Living Index (COLI). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 4.2

Public Higher Education Total Education Revenue Per FTE by State (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 1980 2001 2010 2015 2019 2020 % Change Since 2019 % Change Since 2015 % Change Since 2010 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama $10,239 $15,376 $16,631 $19,479 $21,558 $21,630 0.3% 11.0% 30.1% 40.7% 111.3%
Alaska $24,682 $16,923 $19,377 $20,838 $20,748 $21,007 1.2% 0.8% 8.4% 24.1% -14.9%
Arizona $9,886 $12,630 $13,574 $13,886 $14,080 $13,531 -3.9% -2.6% -0.3% 7.1% 36.9%
Arkansas $12,429 $13,101 $13,823 $13,970 $14,714 $13,734 -6.7% -1.7% -0.6% 4.8% 10.5%
California $9,144 $10,352 $9,264 $10,736 $12,211 $12,330 1.0% 14.8% 33.1% 19.1% 34.8%
Colorado $8,501 $11,145 $12,152 $13,275 $15,184 $15,748 3.7% 18.6% 29.6% 41.3% 85.2%
Connecticut $10,051 $20,792 $20,382 $21,455 $23,086 $23,963 3.8% 11.7% 17.6% 15.3% 138.4%
Delaware $11,984 $18,709 $20,396 $21,574 $22,761 $24,021 5.5% 11.3% 17.8% 28.4% 100.4%
Florida $8,282 $13,118 $9,364 $10,265 $10,148 $10,074 -0.7% -1.9% 7.6% -23.2% 21.6%
Georgia $11,240 $16,715 $12,428 $14,421 $15,285 $15,526 1.6% 7.7% 24.9% -7.1% 38.1%
Hawaii $10,985 $12,527 $15,345 $15,457 $19,843 $19,624 -1.1% 27.0% 27.9% 56.7% 78.7%
Idaho $14,241 $16,029 $13,029 $13,906 $13,956 $13,873 -0.6% -0.2% 6.5% -13.5% -2.6%
Illinois $11,315 $17,647 $19,590 $24,154 $25,209 $25,476 1.1% 5.5% 30.0% 44.4% 125.2%
Indiana $12,661 $15,555 $14,427 $16,078 $16,333 $16,220 -0.7% 0.9% 12.4% 4.3% 28.1%
Iowa $13,018 $16,634 $15,645 $16,783 $16,691 $17,041 2.1% 1.5% 8.9% 2.4% 30.9%
Kansas $12,193 $14,949 $13,308 $13,989 $14,330 $14,593 1.8% 4.3% 9.7% -2.4% 19.7%
Kentucky $12,920 $17,767 $15,976 $16,602 $16,325 $16,254 -0.4% -2.1% 1.7% -8.5% 25.8%
Louisiana $11,187 $10,955 $12,091 $11,699 $11,640 $11,605 -0.3% -0.8% -4.0% 5.9% 3.7%
Maine $10,259 $16,399 $15,290 $15,170 $15,311 $15,366 0.4% 1.3% 0.5% -6.3% 49.8%
Maryland $9,765 $15,389 $14,482 $14,778 $15,814 $16,485 4.2% 11.5% 13.8% 7.1% 68.8%
Massachusetts $10,458 $15,361 $13,062 $13,063 $13,993 $14,599 4.3% 11.8% 11.8% -5.0% 39.6%
Michigan $14,133 $19,606 $18,372 $20,824 $22,038 $22,796 3.4% 9.5% 24.1% 16.3% 61.3%
Minnesota $12,888 $15,176 $16,577 $16,541 $17,396 $17,969 3.3% 8.6% 8.4% 18.4% 39.4%
Mississippi $12,258 $15,440 $14,929 $15,696 $15,089 $15,446 2.4% -1.6% 3.5% 0.0% 26.0%
Missouri $13,601 $17,550 $14,794 $16,016 $14,415 $16,533 14.7% 3.2% 11.8% -5.8% 21.6%
Montana $10,287 $11,031 $12,543 $13,474 $13,875 $14,267 2.8% 5.9% 13.7% 29.3% 38.7%
Nebraska $10,986 $12,672 $13,541 $15,903 $16,653 $17,306 3.9% 8.8% 27.8% 36.6% 57.5%
Nevada $12,244 $13,419 $13,852 $12,928 $12,523 $12,472 -0.4% -3.5% -10.0% -7.1% 1.9%
New Hampshire $10,917 $15,955 $12,936 $14,091 $13,611 $14,834 9.0% 5.3% 14.7% -7.0% 35.9%
New Jersey $9,954 $17,584 $17,220 $17,810 $15,491 $15,037 -2.9% -15.6% -12.7% -14.5% 51.1%
New Mexico $12,689 $12,168 $11,936 $14,852 $15,834 $18,277 15.4% 23.1% 53.1% 50.2% 44.0%
New York $14,116 $15,262 $15,684 $16,937 $18,244 $18,531 1.6% 9.4% 18.1% 21.4% 31.3%
North Carolina $12,343 $16,481 $13,969 $15,592 $16,513 $15,889 -3.8% 1.9% 13.7% -3.6% 28.7%
North Dakota $11,052 $12,215 $15,756 $18,266 $17,628 $18,309 3.9% 0.2% 16.2% 49.9% 65.7%
Ohio $12,183 $16,658 $14,319 $16,224 $16,022 $16,228 1.3% 0.0% 13.3% -2.6% 33.2%
Oklahoma $10,849 $13,542 $15,048 $15,375 $14,486 $15,092 4.2% -1.8% 0.3% 11.4% 39.1%
Oregon $9,325 $11,855 $9,915 $12,737 $14,338 $14,830 3.4% 16.4% 49.6% 25.1% 59.0%
Pennsylvania $14,178 $18,838 $16,712 $15,645 $16,322 $16,088 -1.4% 2.8% -3.7% -14.6% 13.5%
Rhode Island $13,438 $15,964 $13,271 $13,765 $16,134 $16,606 2.9% 20.6% 25.1% 4.0% 23.6%
South Carolina $11,725 $12,530 $12,813 $14,365 $16,398 $17,225 5.0% 19.9% 34.4% 37.5% 46.9%
South Dakota $12,556 $15,065 $13,536 $13,855 $15,168 $16,077 6.0% 16.0% 18.8% 6.7% 28.0%
Tennessee $11,633 $14,238 $15,162 $15,999 $17,172 $17,647 2.8% 10.3% 16.4% 23.9% 51.7%
Texas $10,126 $14,531 $14,823 $13,627 $14,014 $13,669 -2.5% 0.3% -7.8% -5.9% 35.0%
Utah $12,172 $11,542 $11,733 $13,483 $14,124 $14,908 5.5% 10.6% 27.1% 29.2% 22.5%
Vermont $11,735 $16,481 $16,534 $17,544 $18,099 $18,119 0.1% 3.3% 9.6% 9.9% 54.4%
Virginia $9,760 $13,641 $13,059 $13,178 $14,612 $15,097 3.3% 14.6% 15.6% 10.7% 54.7%
Washington $11,171 $11,218 $10,887 $12,420 $13,491 $14,505 7.5% 16.8% 33.2% 29.3% 29.8%
West Virginia $9,452 $10,722 $11,327 $12,407 $12,023 $12,272 2.1% -1.1% 8.3% 14.5% 29.8%
Wisconsin $13,876 $15,452 $14,234 $15,068 $15,143 $15,256 0.7% 1.3% 7.2% -1.3% 10.0%
Wyoming $18,022 $16,180 $17,738 $21,349 $23,233 $25,455 9.6% 19.2% 43.5% 57.3% 41.2%
D.C. N/A N/A N/A $23,130 $25,539 $27,329 7.0% 18.2% N/A N/A N/A
U.S. $11,143 $14,195 $13,444 $14,469 $15,102 $15,276 1.2% 5.6% 13.6% 7.6% 37.1%
Notes:
  1. Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia. Data for the District of Columbia are not available prior to 2011.
  3. The years 1980 and 2001 are included in this table because they are the starting points of the historical SHEF dataset and modern SHEF data collection, respectively.
  4. Adjustment factors to arrive at constant dollar figures include Cost of Living Index (COLI), Enrollment Mix Index (EMI), and Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). The COLI is not a measure of inflation over time.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

Table 4.2A presents new data on total education revenue per FTE for the two- and four-year public sectors separately.

At two-year public institutions, total education revenue averaged $10,758 per FTE, up 1.0% from 2019. Total revenue ranged from around $7,000 in Florida and New Jersey to $18,654 in Wyoming. Thirty-six states saw increases in total education revenue per FTE at two-year institutions this year, the largest of which were 19.0% in Missouri and 17.7% in Washington. Of the 13 states with declines, only one was greater than 5%—Ohio, with a 13.0% decline in total education revenue per FTE.

Total education revenue at four-year institutions averaged $17,645 in 2020, up 0.6% from 2019. Four-year institutions had, on average, 1.64 times the amount of total revenue per FTE at two-year institutions. Nevada had the lowest revenue per FTE ($11,780). Fourteen states had total revenue greater than $20,000—and Delaware and Illinois had more than $30,000 per FTE.

Figure 4.2A displays the disparity in total education revenue per FTE between the two-year and four-year public sectors within each state. Only Wisconsin is on the figure’s left side (the light blue bar), with higher total education revenue in the two-year sector. All other states are on the figure’s right side (the dark blue bars), with relatively higher net tuition revenue per FTE in the four-year sector. New Jersey has the largest disparity in total education revenue across sectors, where four-year institutions have 2.8 times the total revenue of two-year institutions.

Figure 4.2A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education Total Education Revenue Per FTE by State, FY 2020

Notes:
  1. Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition, excluding net tuition revenue used for capital debt service. Sector-level total education revenue excludes federal stimulus funding.
  2. Alaska and the District of Columbia are excluded from this figure because they do not have any public two-year institutions.
  3. FY 2019 and 2020 include estimated net tuition revenue for Idaho, and FY 2020 includes estimated net tuition revenue for Pennsylvania.
  4. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu). Baccalaureate/Associate’s Colleges and “less-than-two-year” degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 4.2A

Public Higher Education Total Education Revenue Per FTE by Sector and State, FY 2019-2020 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

Two-Year Total Revenue Four-Year Total Revenue
State 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2019