Report Highlights

State and local funding for all higher education totaled $113.2 billion in fiscal year 2021, including $3.7 billion in federal stimulus funding (3.2%). All but five states (Alabama, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, and West Virginia) used some portion of federal stimulus funding provided to state governments for higher education. 1 1Federal stimulus funding is included in education appropriations and total education revenue throughout this report. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Five states (Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wyoming) and Washington, D.C., relied on federal stimulus funding for more than 20% of higher education support. State tax and non-tax appropriations accounted for 85.2% of state and local funding, with local tax appropriations in 32 states contributing 10.7%. The vast majority of state and local support for higher education was used for general operations at public institutions (78.1%). Just over 10.1% of funding went to research, agricultural extension programs, and medical schools. Another 8.9% was allocated for student financial aid at public institutions. Less than 2.5% of all state and local funding supported independent (private) institutions, and most of those funds went to student financial aid (2.2%).

three students

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 10.6 million FTE enrolled students in 2021. Net FTE enrollment declined 3.0% this year, a loss of 323,952 FTE students, the largest FTE decline on record. 2021 marks the tenth straight year of enrollment declines following substantial enrollment increases during the Great Recession.

Forty-seven states and Washington, D.C., saw FTE enrollment declines this year, more than in any previous year. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., had enrollment declines greater than 5.0%, and only three states (Delaware, Illinois, and Utah) had an FTE enrollment increase from 2020 to 2021.

The recent enrollment decline is concentrated at two-year public institutions, which reported a net FTE enrollment decline of 6.1% from 2020 to 2021, compared to only 0.9% at four-year institutions. Two-year enrollment took a larger hit than four-year enrollment in 43 states.

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. State-level and sector-level education appropriations include federal stimulus funding. Sector-level education appropriations do not include agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

The U.S. entered a short recession in fiscal year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In all previous recessions since 1980, education appropriations per FTE declined in the year following an economic recession. For the first time in 2021, this trend did not continue: Inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE increased 4.5% in the last year ($400 per FTE), reaching $9,327. This was the ninth straight year of increases and the largest single-year increase since 2014. Appropriations increased in 40 states and Washington, D.C., from 2020 to 2021. The increase in education appropriations per FTE can be attributed to three notable trends:

  1. Increasing state commitments to higher education funding.
  2. A sharp decline in FTE enrollment.
  3. Generous federal stimulus funding. 2 2Federal stimulus funding contributed to the increase in two ways. First, federal funds that protected state revenues and covered additional costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession reduced the need to redirect funds from higher education to other budget areas during the pandemic. Second, federal funds given to states and used for higher education operations boosted operating education appropriations. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

In 2021, federal stimulus for public institutions accounted for 3.6% of total education appropriations ($335 per FTE). Two-year institutions received $214 per FTE in federal stimulus for public operating in 2021, and four-year institutions received $288 per FTE. Without federal stimulus funding directed by states to higher education, education appropriations per FTE would have increased just 2.0% from 2020 to 2021. Had FTE enrollment held constant and had states not directed federal stimulus funding toward higher education, education appropriations would have declined 1.0% this year. When excluding federal stimulus funding, 10 states had declines in inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE in the two-year sector and 27 states had declines in the four-year sector.

The impacts of previous recessions on higher education funding can still be felt in most states. Education appropriations per FTE have increased for nine consecutive years, but these increases have not been large enough to reach pre-recession funding levels of 2001 and 2008.

After two years of increases (3.3% in 2020 and 11.0% in 2021), two-year education appropriations per FTE exceeded those of four-year institutions this year ($9,347 and $8,859, respectively). Despite similar funding levels, there were important differences in the sources of two- and four-year public institution state and local funding: 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 includes any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector and does not include agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

  • Two-year public institutions received $5,647 per FTE in state public operating appropriations, 76.2% of the four-year general operating appropriation ($7,414). State public operating increased 10.0% at two-year institutions and declined 2.7% at four-year institutions in the last year.
  • Local appropriations were 151.8 times higher at two-year institutions ($2,976) compared to four-year institutions ($20 per FTE). Twenty-nine states had local appropriations for two-year institutions, compared to only eight for four-year institutions.
  • Total state and local support for public institutions (which includes $1,690 in state research and medical funding for four-year institutions) was $9,347 at two-year institutions, 88.6% of the amount at four-year institutions ($10,555).

State Public Financial Aid per FTE i i VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

State public financial aid per FTE increased 8.8% from 2020 to 2021 and reached an all-time high of $921 per FTE. These funds made up 9.9% of all education appropriations, the largest proportion since these data were first collected in 2001.

Financial aid per FTE increased in 31 states in the last year. In 2021, 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 $510 at two-year institutions, 44.8% of the $1,138 awarded to students attending four-year institutions. The majority of states (31) awarded more financial aid per FTE to students attending four-year institutions.

Net Tuition and Fee Revenue per FTE i i Net tuition and fee revenue Net tuition and fee 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, $6,723 in net tuition revenue from in-state and out-of-state students in 2021, down 3.2% ($224) from last year. In dollars, this is the second largest decline in net tuition revenue per FTE since 1980. The decline in net tuition revenue is due to a combination of increases in state public financial aid, minimal tuition rate growth, and any changes in the proportion of students paying higher tuition rates.

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 180.5% ($4,326 per FTE) since 1980.

Net tuition revenue per FTE declined in 72% of states between 2020 and 2021, and just over half of all states and Washington, D.C., have had declines in net tuition and fee revenue over the last five years. In 2021, Florida had the lowest net tuition revenue per FTE ($2,301) while Delaware had the highest ($16,517).

In 2021, two-year institutions received $2,604 in net tuition revenue per FTE or 28.0% of the average net tuition revenue per FTE at four-year institutions ($9,295). Net tuition revenue per FTE declined 1.7% at two-year institutions over the last year, and 4.8% at four-year institutions. Only one state (Florida) had higher average net tuition revenue per FTE in the two-year sector; all other states received more tuition revenue per FTE from the four-year sector.

total education revenue: $16k

Total Education Revenue per FTE i i Total education revenue The sum of education appropriations and net tuition revenue, excluding any tuition revenue used for capital and debt service. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding at the state level but not the sector level. It measures the amount of revenue available to public institutions to support instruction (excluding medical students). VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

Total education revenue increased 1.1% from 2020 to 2021, reaching an all-time high of $15,959 per FTE. However, total revenue is only at a record high in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and varies substantially by institution type. Without the influx of federal stimulus funding into states for higher education, total education revenue would have declined 0.3% in the last year. Finally, 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 nine states and Washington, D.C., have more than $20,000 per FTE in education revenue.

In 2021, four-year institutions averaged $18,021 in total education revenue per FTE, 1.51 times the amount at two-year institutions ($11,928 per FTE). Four-year institutions had less total revenue with which to educate students than two-year institutions in only one state (Wisconsin).

Nationally, total education revenue per FTE increased $880 (8.0%) at two-year institutions, and decreased $418 (2.3%) at four-year institutions in 2021.

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 42.1% in 2021. Historically, the student share tends to increase most rapidly during periods of economic recession, shifting more of higher education costs to students and families. Yet, the student share decreased by 1.9 percentage points in 2021 following the fiscal year 2020 recession, in large part because this recession was brief and all but five states allocated federal stimulus funding to higher education in 2021.

Excluding federal stimulus funding, the student share in 2021 was 43.0%.

In 2021, 20 states had a student share above 50%. From 2020-2021, the student share decreased in 40 states and Washington, D.C. However, over the last 10 years, the student share has increased in 23 states.

At two-year institutions, the average student share was less than a quarter (21.8%). At four-year institutions, the average student share was over half (51.6%). In four states, the four-year student share was greater than 75%.

At only 2.7%, California’s community colleges have, by far, the lowest student share of any sector or state in the country. Arizona’s four-year institutions have the highest student share (79.0%).

Implications

Fiscal year 2021 defied several long-term trends in higher education finance. In the past, the year following an economic recession meant steep cuts in state funding, sharp growth in student enrollment, and growth in tuition revenue as public institutions increased tuition rates and worked to attract out-of-state and international students to make up for anticipated lost revenue from the state. Instead, state and local education appropriations per student increased for the ninth straight year in 2021 despite a short economic recession in fiscal year 2020, signifying states’ continued commitment to prioritize higher education. Much of this increase can be attributed to generous federal stimulus and relief funding, which supported total state revenues, reducing budget strain while also directly supporting higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. While these federal stimulus and relief funds are helpful, they cannot be a replacement for long-term state investments as stimulus funds are time-limited and often restricted in their use.

The COVID-19 pandemic counteracted the usual counter-cyclical enrollment trend where enrollment increases during and immediately following economic recessions. Instead, 2021 had the largest single-year decline in public higher education enrollment on record. Additionally, for the third straight year, net tuition and fee revenue did not increase enough to keep up with inflation. The decline in net tuition revenue from 2020 to 2021 is primarily due to low growth in tuition rates, increasing state financial aid, and a change in the proportion of students paying out-of-state and otherwise more expensive tuition rates. This continued decline in tuition revenue puts greater pressure on states not to cut funding to public higher education in the coming years. However, when federal stimulus funds run out, states will face difficult budgetary decisions, and higher education may face cuts in some states.

The SHEF report broadly addresses the wide variation in how states fund public higher education. States vary in their relative allocations to higher education. Public institutions in some states remain primarily publicly funded, but a growing proportion have become primarily reliant on student tuition and fee revenue over the last two decades. State-specific context is incredibly important when discussing higher education finance—the trends described in this report reflect the national average, and there are almost always outliers to every trend. Additionally, even within states, there can be wide variation in the enrollment and revenue patterns at each institution.

With declining revenue from both states and students and after two years of increased costs due to the pandemic and the switch to online learning, public institutions face uncertainty; state support for higher education is crucial for their continued success. Thanks to the influx of federal stimulus funding, public systems of higher education are met with a unique opportunity to make progress toward state attainment goals. Now is a crucial time to make long-term, sustained investments to promote educational quality and student affordability and to reduce inequality in educational attainment.

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 (2006-2021). 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 $113.2 billion in fiscal year 2021, with more than $3.7 billion in federal stimulus funding. Federal stimulus funding in 2021 comprised just 3.2% of total support but increased 185.8% from fiscal year 2020. 6 6Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education. It includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession, the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the 2020 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal stimulus must be state allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions such as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES  States contributed $101.0 billion, and local governments in 32 states contributed $12.2 billion, representing increases of 3.6% and 4.2%, respectively. The largest funding source was state tax appropriations, i i 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 $92.0 billion or 81.3% of total funding as shown in Figure 1.1. 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 6.0% and totaled more than $4.4 billion. Non-appropriated support, state-funded endowments, and other sources of state funding contributed an additional $1.5 billion, an increase of 34.1% from 2020. This increase was entirely due to a 63.6% increase in endowment funds, and 98.0% of the net increase in endowment was due to a $410.9 million increase in Texas.

Table 1.1

Sources of State and Local Higher Education Funding in the U.S., FY 2006-2021 (Unadjusted Dollars, In Millions)

2006 2011 2016 2019 2020 2021 2021 % Distribution
Federal Stimulus $0 $2,840 $0 $0 $1,286 $3,677 3.2%
Tax Appropriations $67,409 $73,102 $79,643 $87,723 $91,129 $91,997 81.3%
Non-Tax Support $2,324 $3,088 $3,375 $4,007 $4,187 $4,436 3.9%
Non-Appropriated Support $121 $79 $116 $142 $166 $130 0.1%
State-Funded Endowment Earnings $303 $387 $603 $641 $659 $1,079 1.0%
Other $218 $550 $189 $240 $282 $278 0.2%
Funds Not Available for Use $43 $834 $54 $63 $204 $551 0.5%
Total State Support $70,331 $79,212 $83,872 $92,690 $97,506 $101,045 89.3%
Local Tax Appropriations $7,072 $8,960 $9,777 $11,235 $11,660 $12,152 10.7%
Total State and Local Support $77,404 $88,172 $93,649 $103,925 $109,166 $113,197 100.0%
Total State and Local Support (No Stimulus) $77,404 $85,332 $93,649 $103,925 $107,879 $109,520 96.8%
Notes:
  1. Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education. It includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession, the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the 2020 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal stimulus must be state allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions (such as HEERF).
  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
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Figure 1.1

Distribution of State and Local Higher Education Funding Sources, U.S., FY 2006-2021


Notes:
  1. 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.
  2. Tax appropriations are any appropriations from state government taxes to institutions for operations and other higher education activities.
  3. Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education. It includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession, the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the 2020 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal stimulus must be state allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions (such as HEERF).
  4. 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.
  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. In all years, state-funded endowment earnings and other sources accounted for less than 1% of total state and local funding for higher education. Other sources include non-appropriated funds, multiyear appropriations from previous years, and funds not classified in one of the other source categories.
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 to fund higher education. In fiscal year 2020, four states (Massachusetts, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Washington) relied on tax appropriations as their only major source of state and local funding for higher education. Due to federal stimulus funding allocated by states to higher education, no states relied solely on tax appropriations as their major source of state and local funding in fiscal year 2021. Additionally, the number of states relying on state tax appropriations for at least 75% of their funding decreased from 45 to 41.

As shown in Table 1.2, Colorado and Arizona are the only states where the majority of higher education funding did not come from state tax appropriations in 2021. In Colorado, 39.0% of higher education funding came from federal stimulus funding and only 49.4% came from tax appropriations. In years when federal stimulus funds have not been used, Colorado has relied on tax appropriations for 90.9% of their funding, on average. 7 7See the State Spotlight on Colorado for more information. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Figure 1.2 shows that nearly half (46.0%) of higher education funding in Arizona came from local appropriations. i i Local support 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 Kansas and Michigan were the only other states that relied on local appropriations for at least 20% of higher education funding. Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., received no local tax appropriations for higher education. 8 8In Washington D.C., district taxes are classified as state tax appropriations, not local support. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

Table 1.2

Sources of State and Local Higher Education Funding by State, FY 2021 (Unadjusted Dollars)

State % Tax Appropriations % Non-Tax Support % Funds Not Available for Use (Subtracted) % Local Appropriations % Endowment, Non-Appropriated, and Other Sources % Federal Stimulus Total State and Local Support (Thousands)
Alabama 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $1,812,628
Alaska 94.5% 0.0% 0.1% 0.3% 0.0% 5.3% $320,343
Arizona 39.8% 0.3% 0.0% 46.0% 7.5% 6.4% $2,030,902
Arkansas 83.0% 11.7% 0.0% 3.8% 0.2% 1.2% $1,061,398
California 81.0% 2.5% 0.0% 16.2% 0.0% 0.3% $20,510,707
Colorado 49.4% 2.5% 0.0% 9.1% 0.0% 39.0% $1,176,721
Connecticut 99.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% $1,366,405
Delaware 85.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 14.8% $306,653
Florida 75.3% 22.9% 0.0% 0.8% 0.5% 0.4% $5,702,030
Georgia 75.3% 22.5% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 0.8% $3,678,961
Hawaii 98.8% 1.2% 1.1% 0.0% 0.0% 1.1% $809,307
Idaho 88.9% 0.0% 0.0% 6.1% 3.2% 1.9% $578,632
Illinois 83.5% 0.0% 0.0% 15.6% 0.0% 1.0% $5,720,997
Indiana 104.2% 0.4% 5.7% 0.0% 0.0% 1.1% $1,799,560
Iowa 94.8% 0.0% 0.0% 4.3% 0.0% 1.0% $891,205
Kansas 65.9% 1.0% 0.0% 24.3% 0.0% 8.8% $1,252,969
Kentucky 71.0% 22.5% 0.0% 2.2% 0.3% 4.0% $1,243,169
Louisiana 90.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.0% 8.1% $1,239,581
Maine 93.2% 1.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 5.0% $337,839
Maryland 81.2% 0.4% 0.0% 16.9% 0.0% 1.5% $2,683,596
Massachusetts 98.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.1% $1,834,628
Michigan 76.8% 0.0% 0.0% 22.3% 0.0% 0.9% $2,702,644
Minnesota 76.9% 0.0% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 23.4% $2,223,180
Mississippi 79.6% 0.1% 0.0% 5.6% 0.1% 14.7% $1,148,516
Missouri 65.1% 10.4% 2.2% 13.4% 0.9% 12.4% $1,290,834
Montana 83.6% 0.0% 0.0% 2.9% 1.4% 12.1% $313,666
Nebraska 77.5% 3.0% 0.0% 18.7% 0.0% 0.8% $1,014,777
Nevada 106.2% 16.1% 22.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% $656,629
New Hampshire 78.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.4% $187,726
New Jersey 91.3% 0.0% 0.0% 7.6% 0.0% 1.1% $2,653,850
New Mexico 76.5% 4.3% 0.0% 17.1% 1.8% 0.3% $1,088,281
New York 84.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.0% 0.0% 0.0% $6,898,569
North Carolina 91.7% 0.2% 0.0% 6.0% 0.3% 1.8% $4,741,101
North Dakota 99.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0% $383,582
Ohio 81.9% 0.0% 0.0% 7.3% 0.0% 10.8% $2,902,729
Oklahoma 84.8% 3.3% 0.0% 5.7% 6.2% 0.0% $875,041
Oregon 82.3% 0.6% 0.0% 16.4% 0.0% 0.8% $1,234,125
Pennsylvania 85.0% 0.0% 0.0% 6.5% 0.0% 8.5% $2,164,807
Rhode Island 86.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.2% 12.7% $223,023
South Carolina 55.9% 26.9% 0.0% 5.8% 0.0% 11.4% $1,490,637
South Dakota 94.3% 1.8% 0.2% 0.0% 1.5% 2.6% $271,797
Tennessee 76.7% 19.4% 0.0% 0.0% 2.9% 1.0% $2,213,382
Texas 69.8% 0.6% 2.4% 19.8% 9.5% 2.7% $10,622,049
Utah 98.8% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% $1,228,322
Vermont 64.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% 35.3% $191,956
Virginia 98.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.9% $2,515,060
Washington 97.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.4% $2,537,098
West Virginia 92.8% 7.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% $528,097
Wisconsin 82.7% 0.0% 0.0% 13.6% 0.0% 3.7% $1,987,981
Wyoming 66.3% 0.0% 0.0% 8.0% 3.6% 22.1% $549,081
D.C. 58.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 13.6% 27.8% $154,179
U.S. 81.3% 3.9% 0.5% 10.7% 1.3% 3.2% $113,196,773
Notes:
  1. Federal stimulus funding is provided to state governments to stabilize state and local sources of revenue for higher education. It includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) during the Great Recession, the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the 2020 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal stimulus must be state allocated and excludes aid provided directly to institutions (such as HEERF).
  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. Some states, such as Indiana and Nevada, reported tax appropriations and non-tax support that total more than 100% of total state support because those data elements include funds not available for use, which are reported in the fourth column.
  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. 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.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Figure 1.2

Percentage of State and Local Higher Education Funding from Local Appropriations by State, FY 2021


Notes:
  1. Excludes states with no funding from the selected source.
  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 2021 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. 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.
  6. 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.
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 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 support, and other sources of state revenue made up 1% or less of higher education funding in all but 12 states and Washington, D.C. In Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington, D.C., these revenue sources made up more than 5% of higher education support.

Federal stimulus funding provided to state governments in 2021 was used for higher education in all but five states. These funds comprised less than 5% of total state and local support in 32 states. Five states (Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wyoming) and Washington, D.C., relied on federal stimulus funding for more than 20% of higher education funding in 2021. Two noteworthy trends have emerged as states have become less reliant on tax appropriations over time.

  • Many states are increasingly reliant on local appropriations. Over the last 15 years, the proportion of total higher education funding from local appropriations has increased in 26 states. In five states (Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas), the proportion of total higher education funding derived from local appropriations has increased by at least 5 percentage points since 2006.

  • Similarly, 18 states had increases in non-tax appropriations from 2006 to 2021. 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 over the last 15 years.

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 (2006-2021). 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 not included in the uses of state and local funding.

1. National Trends

Table 1.3 shows that, nationally, funds allocated to support general public operations i i General public operations The portion of state and local support appropriated directly to public institutions for the purposes of general operations. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS at public institutions increased 0.9% in 2021, representing 78.1% ($85.6 billion) of state and local higher education funding. 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 i i Agency funding Agency funding is the operating funds allocated to state-funded, state-level coordinating and governing bodies excluding any pass-through funding to campuses or other entities. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS 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 2019. In 2021, states provided $1.5 billion in agency funding (1.8% 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 Total 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 decreased 0.3% since 2020 to $11.1 billion—10.1% of total state and local support. 
  • Student financial aid i i Total state 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. Federal stimulus funds used for financial aid are not included. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 7.5% to $12.2 billion—11.2% of total support—from 2020 to 2021. Nearly 80% of total student aid was allocated to students attending public institutions.
  • Operating support for independent (private) i i Independent (private) operating Sums of state support allocated to independent (private) institutions for operating expenses. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS institutions increased 8.4% to $247.3 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 increased 0.7% to $387.8 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 2006-2021 (Unadjusted Dollars, In Millions)

Use 2006 2011 2016 2019 2020 2021 2021 % Distribution
General Public Operations $60,828 $66,075 $73,759 $82,221 $84,763 $85,559 78.1%
Agency Funding N/A N/A N/A $1,705 $1,897 $1,515 1.4%
Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM) $9,181 $9,874 $9,959 $10,401 $11,118 $11,089 10.1%
State Public Financial Aid $4,534 $6,487 $7,182 $8,407 $9,012 $9,766 8.9%
Out-of-State Financial Aid $36 $42 $38 $38 $38 $38 0.0%
Independent Student Aid $2,293 $2,336 $2,227 $2,230 $2,310 $2,398 2.2%
Independent Operating Support $263 $196 $196 $219 $228 $247 0.2%
Non-Credit and Continuing Education $266 $322 $287 $387 $385 $388 0.4%
Total Student Financial Aid $6,865 $8,865 $9,447 $10,697 $11,384 $12,237 11.2%
Total Independent Support $2,556 $2,533 $2,423 $2,449 $2,538 $2,646 2.4%
Total State and Local Support (No Stimulus) $77,404 $85,332 $93,649 $103,925 $107,879 $109,520 100.0%
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 is the portion of funding allocated to 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 and aid for students attending medical schools. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS which increased from 5.9% in 2006 to 8.9% of all state and local support in 2021. Additionally, financial aid to students attending independent or out-of-state institutions declined by nearly 1 percentage point (0.8) 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 2006-2021


Notes:
  1. Other uses include funding for non-credit and independent operating.
  2. 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.
  3. RAM refers to the total appropriations intended for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
  4. Other financial aid includes any state appropriated student financial aid to students attending independent (private) or out-of-state institutions.
  5. 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.
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. All but one state, Louisiana, allocated at least half of all funding to general public operations in fiscal year 2021 (Louisiana was one of a few states to allocate large proportions of state and local funding to both RAM and student financial aid). In 22 states and Washington, D.C., at least 80% of funding was allocated for public institutions’ general operations. However, over the last 15 years, the proportion of funding allocated to general public operations decreased in 36 states.

Forty-five states reported agency funding in fiscal year 2021. Agency allocations ranged from 0.02% of all support in Montana to 13.9% in Idaho, and accounted for less than 1% of all support in 27 states. Five states (Alaska, Maine, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and Washington, D.C., reported no agency funding. States may not have agency funding if they do not have a statewide board for higher education (like in Michigan), or if systems of institutions allocate their own funding for system-level agency operations from their general budgets (as in Maine).

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 and Washington, D.C., allocated at least 10% of funding to these areas in 2021, with Mississippi and West Virginia allocating more than 25% of total funding to RAM.

Figure 1.4

Percentage of State and Local Higher Education Funding Used for Research - Agriculture - Medical (RAM) by State, FY 2021


Notes:
  1. Excludes states with funding allocated toward the selected use.
  2. 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.
  3. Constant 2021 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  4. 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.
  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.
  6. RAM refers to the total appropriations intended for the direct operations of research, agriculture, public health care services, and medical schools.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

The proportion of state support for student financial aid ranged from 0.8% in Arizona to 34.5% in South Carolina. Only Arizona and Hawaii allocated less than 1% of funding to student financial aid. Seven states (Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington) allocated at least 20% of funding to financial aid. 9 9Indiana allocated 19.997% of state and local support to funding student financial aid, which rounds to 20.0% in Table 1.4. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES  From 2006 to 2021, 39 states increased the proportion 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 (Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) gave more than 6% of funding to these institutions in 2021. In most states, funding for independent institutions was predominantly allocated to student financial aid rather than institutional operating appropriations. Only two states, Maryland (75.6%) and Alabama (69.6%), allocated more than 50% of support for independent institutions to institutional operating.

Table 1.4

Uses of State and Local Higher Education Funding by State, FY 2021 (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 71.8% 0.9% 20.7% 5.8% 1.3% $1,812,628
Alaska 86.1% 0.0% 7.9% 5.8% 0.4% $303,511
Arizona 86.9% 0.1% 12.3% 0.8% 0.0% $1,901,602
Arkansas 65.9% 0.3% 21.9% 12.3% 1.4% $1,048,398
California 83.7% 0.1% 4.9% 11.5% 1.1% $20,456,732
Colorado 59.2% 0.9% 10.8% 30.0% 1.6% $718,359
Connecticut 72.7% 0.5% 24.9% 2.5% 0.4% $1,357,524
Delaware 90.0% 0.1% 3.7% 6.2% 0.1% $261,409
Florida 71.4% 0.2% 8.6% 19.3% 4.5% $5,677,162
Georgia 66.3% 4.3% 10.0% 23.1% 2.4% $3,649,405
Hawaii 85.8% 9.8% 13.3% 0.9% 0.0% $800,009
Idaho 85.9% 13.9% 10.4% 3.8% 0.6% $567,881
Illinois 87.8% 1.9% 3.4% 7.9% 3.2% $5,664,627
Indiana 65.1% 0.7% 14.9% 20.0% 5.3% $1,780,560
Iowa 76.8% 0.1% 14.7% 8.5% 5.6% $882,409
Kansas 78.5% 0.4% 18.7% 2.6% 0.8% $1,142,574
Kentucky 61.7% 0.6% 13.5% 23.3% 6.8% $1,193,286
Louisiana 44.6% 6.2% 24.6% 30.8% 2.2% $1,139,540
Maine 83.5% 0.0% 9.5% 7.0% 1.1% $320,935
Maryland 82.1% 0.3% 11.8% 3.8% 3.0% $2,643,544
Massachusetts 89.6% 0.7% 3.2% 6.9% 2.4% $1,815,223
Michigan 92.4% 0.0% 6.3% 1.3% 0.4% $2,678,644
Minnesota 76.1% 3.6% 12.0% 11.8% 4.3% $1,702,832
Mississippi 67.2% 1.3% 28.1% 4.6% 0.4% $979,428
Missouri 87.9% 0.3% 0.3% 11.8% 2.1% $1,130,262
Montana 84.5% 0.0% 14.6% 1.0% 0.0% $275,610
Nebraska 75.9% 0.1% 21.7% 2.3% 0.5% $1,007,080
Nevada 70.8% 3.1% 13.2% 16.1% 0.0% $656,629
New Hampshire 88.2% 0.3% 8.9% 2.8% 0.3% $147,577
New Jersey 71.1% 0.1% 10.7% 18.1% 5.0% $2,623,919
New Mexico 84.2% 0.4% 12.6% 2.4% 0.0% $1,084,489
New York 83.2% 0.9% 4.1% 12.2% 3.6% $6,898,569
North Carolina 77.9% 1.6% 11.4% 7.1% 4.1% $4,654,872
North Dakota 70.7% 7.9% 23.3% 5.4% 1.5% $379,613
Ohio 84.0% 0.8% 8.9% 6.0% 2.0% $2,589,229
Oklahoma 65.7% 0.9% 15.3% 11.7% 1.7% $875,041
Oregon 82.5% 1.5% 9.9% 7.5% 0.5% $1,224,125
Pennsylvania 75.4% 0.2% 4.3% 18.6% 8.3% $1,981,539
Rhode Island 93.7% 0.0% 0.0% 6.3% 0.0% $194,771
South Carolina 52.7% 2.0% 12.4% 34.5% 7.4% $1,320,152
South Dakota 77.9% 7.6% 17.6% 4.5% 0.6% $264,769
Tennessee 59.2% 1.6% 15.9% 24.8% 5.1% $2,191,932
Texas 77.8% 3.1% 17.9% 4.3% 0.9% $10,337,185
Utah 88.6% 0.9% 7.8% 3.1% 0.5% $1,220,897
Vermont 68.7% 0.0% 15.6% 15.5% 3.7% $124,243
Virginia 75.2% 0.3% 9.2% 14.2% 4.1% $2,493,060
Washington 75.5% 1.4% 4.1% 20.4% 2.7% $2,475,329
West Virginia 55.9% 2.3% 26.0% 17.0% 1.4% $528,097
Wisconsin 81.9% 5.8% 10.2% 7.6% 2.0% $1,914,958
Wyoming 81.7% 0.8% 10.1% 8.0% 0.0% $427,507
D.C. 81.1% 0.0% 16.3% 2.6% 0.0% $111,344
U.S. 78.1% 1.4% 10.1% 11.2% 2.4% $109,519,674
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 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.
  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. Financial aid for students attending medical institutions is included in total student financial aid.
  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 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.
  6. Colorado's agency funding is estimated for fiscal year 2021.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

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 and fee 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 increased 4.1% over 2020. Both subcomponents of 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. State-level and sector-level education appropriations include federal stimulus funding. Sector-level education appropriations do not include agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS also increased, 8.4% for state public financial aid and just 0.9% for general public operations. Net tuition revenue (tuition and fees net of state and institutional aid and medical tuition) i i Net tuition and fee revenue Net tuition and fee 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 decreased 3.6%.

The middle section of Table 2.1 shows that the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA), a measure of inflation in service industries, increased 2.7% from 2020 to 2021. After applying HECA and therefore removing any increases due to inflation, state public financial aid increased 5.5%, while general public operations decreased 1.7%, and net tuition revenue decreased 6.1%.

The changes described above may be misleading if not contextualized with changes in net FTE enrollment, shown in the final section of Table 2.1. In the last year, enrollment declined 3.0%, or about 324,000 FTE students. This is the largest enrollment decline since the beginning of the SHEF dataset in 1980, both in percentage and total number. After adjusting for both inflation and enrollment, we see that education appropriations increased 4.5% (financial aid increased 8.8%, general public operations increased 1.3%), while net tuition revenue decreased 3.2%, and total education revenue i i Total education revenue The sum of education appropriations and net tuition revenue, excluding any tuition revenue used for capital and debt service. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding at the state level but not the sector level. It measures the amount of revenue available to public institutions to support instruction (excluding medical students). VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 1.1%.

This year marks the second-largest ever decrease in inflation-adjusted net tuition revenue per FTE. Since the SHEF dataset began in 1980, net tuition revenue per FTE has only declined five times: in 2000 (2.7%), 2001 (1.2%), 2019 (3.6%), 2020 (0.2%), and now (3.2%). This year’s decline is partially, but not entirely, explained by state public financial aid increases, which are removed from net tuition revenue.

Education appropriations and total education revenue described here and reported in Table 2.1 include federal stimulus funding in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Excluding federal stimulus funding, inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE increased 2.0%, and total education revenue declined 0.3%.

Measurement Note: Federal Stimulus Funding
The SHEF report includes federal stimulus funding allocated to states for higher education to stabilize state and local sources of funding for higher education and provide additional resources during the COVID-19 pandemic in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Federal stimulus included in the SHEF report includes any state allocated GEERF, CRF, or State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, and excludes aid provided directly to institutions (such as HEERF). Federal stimulus funds were generally reported in the year(s) in which they were expended. State- and sector-level state and local support, education appropriations, and total education revenue include federal stimulus funding. Federal stimulus funding for private institution operations is excluded from education appropriations and total education revenue. Federal stimulus is not included in state public financial aid, general public operations, or state public operating.

Table 2.1

Impact of Inflation and Enrollment on SHEF Metrics, U.S., FY 1980-2021

1980 2001 2011 2016 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2016 % Change Since 2011 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Current Unadjusted Dollars (Millions)
State Public Financial Aid N/A $2,834 $6,487 $7,182 $9,012 $9,766 8.4% 36.0% 50.5% 244.6% N/A
General Public Operations N/A $53,298 $66,075 $73,759 $84,763 $85,559 0.9% 16.0% 29.5% 60.5% N/A
Education Appropriations $16,134 $56,107 $75,401 $80,942 $94,981 $98,872 4.1% 22.2% 31.1% 76.2% 512.8%
Net Tuition Revenue $4,264 $22,816 $54,644 $69,879 $73,910 $71,264 -3.6% 2.0% 30.4% 212.3% 1571.4%
Total Education Revenue $20,398 $78,812 $129,492 $150,063 $167,939 $169,175 0.7% 12.7% 30.6% 114.7% 729.4%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (Millions)
HECA 0.2597 0.6203 0.8158 0.8932 0.9740 1.0000 2.7% 12.0% 22.6% 61.2% 285.1%
State Public Financial Aid N/A $4,568 $7,952 $8,041 $9,253 $9,766 5.5% 21.4% 22.8% 113.8% N/A
General Public Operations N/A $85,924 $80,993 $82,576 $87,029 $85,559 -1.7% 3.6% 5.6% -0.4% N/A
Education Appropriations $62,137 $90,452 $92,425 $90,617 $97,520 $98,872 1.4% 9.1% 7.0% 9.3% 59.1%
Net Tuition Revenue $16,421 $36,783 $66,981 $78,232 $75,886 $71,264 -6.1% -8.9% 6.4% 93.7% 334.0%
Total Education Revenue $78,559 $127,055 $158,729 $168,001 $172,428 $169,175 -1.9% 0.7% 6.6% 33.2% 115.3%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (per FTE)
FTE Enrollment 6,852,242 8,709,255 11,654,967 11,085,435 10,924,333 10,600,381 -3.0% -4.4% -9.0% 21.7% 54.7%
State Public Financial Aid N/A $525 $682 $725 $847 $921 8.8% 27.0% 35.0% 75.6% N/A
General Public Operations N/A $9,866 $6,949 $7,449 $7,967 $8,071 1.3% 8.4% 16.1% -18.2% N/A
Education Appropriations $9,068 $10,386 $7,930 $8,174 $8,927 $9,327 4.5% 14.1% 17.6% -10.2% 2.9%
Net Tuition Revenue $2,396 $4,223 $5,747 $7,057 $6,946 $6,723 -3.2% -4.7% 17.0% 59.2% 180.5%
Total Education Revenue $11,465 $14,588 $13,619 $15,155 $15,784 $15,959 1.1% 5.3% 17.2% 9.4% 39.2%
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

Modeled after the previous section, Table 2.1A shows the impacts of inflation and enrollment on sector-level revenue at public institutions. i i Sector Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification. 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 Currently, only data for 2019 through 2021 are available. In future years, this table will expand to show longer trends over time.

Between 2020 and 2021, in unadjusted dollars, total education appropriations increased 7.0% at two-year institutions and 2.3% at four-year institutions. Sector-level education appropriations consist of state public financial aid, i i Sector-level state public financial aid State public financial aid consists of state scholarships or other state financial aid for students attending public two- and four-year institutions, reported separately. State public financial aid that cannot be allocated by sector is reported as “uncategorizable.” 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 was largely flat at two-year institutions (a 0.8% increase) but increased 10.0% at four-year institutions. State public operating appropriations increased 6.0% at two-year institutions but declined 1.1% at four-year institutions. Local appropriations, which primarily support community colleges, increased 4.3% and 0.9% at two- and four-year institutions, respectively. Four-year institutions also receive research, agriculture, and medical (RAM) appropriations, which declined 0.3% from 2020.

The sector-level data show that the national decline in net tuition revenue is larger at two-year public institutions; unadjusted net tuition revenue declined 5.2% at two-year institutions compared to 3.2% at four-year institutions. Note that this difference is largely due to the greater enrollment decline in the two-year sector.

The second section of Table 2.1A shows that state public financial aid failed to keep up with inflation at two-year institutions (a 1.8% decline), while all other components of state support increased after adjusting for inflation. At four-year institutions, the opposite was true—state public financial aid was the only area to increase (7.1%) while all other components of state support declined after adjusting for inflation. 

These differences are partially, but not entirely, explained by differing enrollment trends across the sectors. Net FTE enrollment declined 6.1% at two-year institutions compared to only 0.9% 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 per FTE increased by $22 (4.6%) at two-year institutions and $86 (8.1%) at four-year institutions.
  • State public operating per FTE increased $512 (10.0%) at two-year institutions and decreased $209 (2.7%) at four-year institutions.
  • Local appropriations per FTE increased $225 (8.2%) at two-year institutions and were flat (less than $1 per FTE, or a 0.8% decline) at four-year institutions.
  • Research, agricultural extension, and medical appropriations only available to four-year institutions decreased by $34 (2.0%) per FTE.
  • Total state and local support per FTE increased by $925 (11.0%) at two-year institutions and only $21 (0.2%) at four-year institutions
  • Net tuition revenue per FTE declined by $44 (1.7%) at two-year institutions and $472 (4.8%) at four-year institutions.
  • Total education revenue per FTE increased $880 (8.0%) at two-year institutions and decreased $418 (2.3%) at four-year institutions.

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 2019-2021

Two-Year Four-Year
2019 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019
Current Unadjusted Dollars (Millions)
State Public Financial Aid $1,896 $2,043 $2,059 0.8% 8.6% $6,352 $6,786 $7,465 10.0% 17.5%
State Public Operating $21,276 $21,519 $22,810 6.0% 7.2% $47,576 $49,163 $48,638 -1.1% 2.2%
Local Appropriations $11,109 $11,532 $12,023 4.3% 8.2% $126 $128 $129 0.9% 2.0%
RAM $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A $10,401 $11,118 $11,089 -0.3% 6.6%
State and Local Support $34,280 $35,294 $37,759 7.0% 10.1% $64,477 $67,940 $69,246 1.9% 7.4%
Education Appropriations $34,280 $35,294 $37,759 7.0% 10.1% $54,054 $56,798 $58,123 2.3% 7.5%
Net Tuition Revenue $11,566 $11,100 $10,521 -5.2% -9.0% $61,906 $62,993 $60,981 -3.2% -1.5%
Total Education Revenue $45,752 $46,300 $48,185 4.1% 5.3% $115,151 $118,930 $118,234 -0.6% 2.7%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (Millions)
HECA 0.9566 0.9740 1.0000 2.7% 4.5% 0.9566 0.9740 1.0000 2.7% 4.5%
State Public Financial Aid $1,981 $2,097 $2,059 -1.8% 3.9% $6,640 $6,967 $7,465 7.1% 12.4%
State Public Operating $22,240 $22,095 $22,810 3.2% 2.6% $49,732 $50,477 $48,638 -3.6% -2.2%
Local Appropriations $11,612 $11,840 $12,023 1.5% 3.5% $132 $131 $129 -1.8% -2.4%
RAM $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A $10,873 $11,416 $11,089 -2.9% 2.0%
State and Local Support $35,833 $36,237 $37,759 4.2% 5.4% $67,399 $69,756 $69,246 -0.7% 2.7%
Education Appropriations $35,833 $36,237 $37,759 4.2% 5.4% $56,504 $58,317 $58,123 -0.3% 2.9%
Net Tuition Revenue $12,090 $11,397 $10,521 -7.7% -13.0% $64,711 $64,677 $60,981 -5.7% -5.8%
Total Education Revenue $47,825 $47,537 $48,185 1.4% 0.8% $120,369 $122,109 $118,234 -3.2% -1.8%
Constant Inflation Adjusted Dollars (per FTE)
FTE Enrollment 4,393,411 4,302,763 4,039,641 -6.1% -8.1% 6,597,299 6,622,142 6,560,746 -0.9% -0.6%
State Public Financial Aid $451 $487 $510 4.6% 13.0% $1,006 $1,052 $1,138 8.1% 13.0%
State Public Operating $5,062 $5,135 $5,647 10.0% 11.5% $7,538 $7,623 $7,414 -2.7% -1.7%
Local Appropriations $2,643 $2,752 $2,976 8.2% 12.6% $20 $20 $20 -0.8% -1.8%
RAM $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A $1,648 $1,724 $1,690 -2.0% 2.6%
State and Local Support $8,156 $8,422 $9,347 11.0% 14.6% $10,216 $10,534 $10,555 0.2% 3.3%
Education Appropriations $8,156 $8,422 $9,347 11.0% 14.6% $8,565 $8,806 $8,859 0.6% 3.4%
Net Tuition Revenue $2,752 $2,649 $2,604 -1.7% -5.4% $9,809 $9,767 $9,295 -4.8% -5.2%
Total Education Revenue $10,886 $11,048 $11,928 8.0% 9.6% $18,245 $18,440 $18,021 -2.3% -1.2%
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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses.
  2. State public operating appropriations are a measure of state support directly allocated to public two- and four-year institutions. State public 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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude 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. Sector-level total education revenue includes any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector.
  8. Sector-level data are recently required components of the SHEF data collection 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 Appropriations and Tuition Revenue

The historical data in Figure 2.1 (the wave chart) demonstrate the economic cycle’s impact on public higher education revenue from 1996 to 2021. 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 over the last 25 years, which has broadly increased over time from 6.85 million in 1980 to 10.6 million in 2021. 11 11The funding levels and trends over time shown in the U.S. wave chart differ substantially by state. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES Historically, enrollment increased sharply during economic recessions and would level off or decline during economic recoveries. This pattern held during the Great Recession as enrollment increased sharply from 2008 through 2011, and then slowly declined for most of the next decade as state economies recovered. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic recession in 2020 altered the traditional counter-cyclical enrollment trend. Instead of an increase from fiscal years 2020 to 2021, enrollment dropped a full 3.0%, the largest decline on record. In 2021, public institutions enrolled 10,600,381 FTE students, down 9.0% from the peak in 2011, but still 3.3% above 2008 levels.

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. State-level and sector-level education appropriations include federal stimulus funding. Sector-level education appropriations do not include agency funding. 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. In 2020, federal stimulus funding for public institutions accounted for 1.3% of total education appropriations ($113 per FTE). In 2021, this amount increased to 3.6% ($335 per FTE).

At the start of the SHEF dataset in 1980, states provided, on average, $9,068 per FTE in education appropriations to public institutions. From there, funding for higher education changed in response to the economic cycle, declining during economic recessions but overall growing (on a per-FTE basis) during the next two decades. In fiscal year 2000, education appropriations reached an inflation-adjusted high of $10,489 per FTE. Since that peak, however, education appropriations have declined, down 11.1% ($1,162 per student) over the last 21 years.

The downward trend in education appropriations has not been linear. Funding reached a record low of $7,232 per FTE in 2012 following declines during the Great Recession. Since that time, appropriations have increased for nine consecutive years. Over the last year, education appropriations increased 4.5% beyond inflation ($400 per FTE) to $9,327. This represents the largest increase in state funding since 2014, when state funding increased 4.8% in one year following the steep cuts of the Great Recession.

Overall, appropriations have increased 29.0%, or $2,095 per FTE, since the low point in 2012. Nine years after the all-time low in state funding, education appropriations in 2021 are now only 1.2% ($112 per FTE) below pre-recession funding levels in 2008. This year’s increase in education appropriations can be attributed to three notable trends:

  • Increasing state commitments to higher education funding.
  • A sharp decline in FTE enrollment.
  • Federal stimulus funding given to states to protect their revenues and support additional costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.

The green bars in Figure 2.1 show net tuition revenue i i Net tuition and fee revenue Net tuition and fee 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 net increase of 2.6% above inflation since 1980.

However, after reaching an all-time high in 2018, tuition revenue per FTE has decreased for three consecutive years: 3.6% in 2019, 0.2% in 2020, and 3.2% in 2021. 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, two years immediately preceding an economic recession. The fiscal year 2021 decline is partially, but not entirely, explained by increases in state public financial aid (which is excluded from net tuition revenue). In 2021, public institutions received, on average, $6,723 per FTE in net tuition revenue.

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 combines the two primary funding sources for public higher education—education appropriations and net tuition. In 2021, total education revenue i i Total education revenue The sum of education appropriations and net tuition revenue, excluding any tuition revenue used for capital and debt service. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding at the state level but not the sector level. It measures the amount of revenue available to public institutions to support instruction (excluding medical students). VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS increased 1.1% to $15,959 per FTE, an all-time high. On average, institutions have more than made up for prior 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 1996-2021(Constant Dollars)


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 2021 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 profoundly impact state funding for higher education. Higher education is viewed as a discretionary item in state budgets and, traditionally, has been disproportionately cut compared to other state budget areas. 12 12Delaney, J., & Doyle, W. (2011). State spending on higher education: Testing the balance wheel over time. Journal of Education Finance, 36(4). www.jstor.org/stable/23018116 VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES During economic recessions prior to 2020, state funding declined as states either cut funding to higher education or failed to keep up with inflation and enrollment increases. 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 at the impact of economic recessions on state higher education appropriations. In this figure, we begin each recessionary period at zero and track the cumulative percentage change over the course of the economic recession and recovery. With each recession until the most recent one in 2020, state support declines per FTE grew steeper and recoveries became slower and incomplete. However, the trend of education appropriations declining immediately following an economic recession has reversed this year, after there was no decline following the COVID-19 pandemic-induced short economic recession in 2020. 13 13National Bureau of Economic Research. (2021). Business cycle dating committee announcement July 19, 2021. www.nber.org/news/business-cycle-dating-committee-announcement-july-19-2021 VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES From 2020 to 2021, education appropriations increased 4.5% (the short straight line in Figure 2.2), thanks in large part to federal stimulus funding that helped fill state budget shortfalls, reducing the need to defer funding from higher education to other budget areas. The federal government also provided specific funds to states to use on education, which many states allocated, in part, to higher education. See Measurement Note: Federal Stimulus Funding for more information. 

Even without federal stimulus funding given to states and allocated to higher education, funding would have increased 2.0% per FTE from 2020 to 2021. This increase is because, unlike during past recessions, FTE enrollment declined this year. Had FTE enrollment held constant and federal stimulus funding not come through for states, education appropriations would have declined 1.0% this year.

Figure 2.2

Cumulative Annual Percent Change in Public Education Appropriations per FTE Following Economic Recessions, U.S., FY 1980-2021(Constant Dollars)


Notes:
  1. Cumulative annual percent change calculated since the start of each recession (1980, 1990, 2001, 2008, and 2020).
  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. Full-time equivalent enrollment converts student credit hours to full-time, academic year students, but excludes medical students.
  4. Constant 2021 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  expanded views of the Figure 2.1 wave chart for all states in fiscal year 2021. 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, Nevada had the lowest total revenue per FTE, but 71.8% of total revenue came from state funding. Louisiana had similar total revenue, and only 52.6% of funding came from education appropriations. At the other end of the spectrum, Delaware and Wyoming had some of the highest total revenues, yet they could not be more different in where they get those funds; the state provided 30.0% of total education revenue in Delaware compared to 89.0% in Wyoming.

Figure 2.3

Education Appropriations and Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by State, FY 2021


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. 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 2021 (Adjusted)

FTE Enrollment Education Appropriations Net Tuition Revenue Total Education Revenue
Alabama 194,930 $7,733 $13,685 $20,446
Alaska 13,739 $17,497 $5,128 $22,625
Arizona 292,192 $6,194 $9,102 $14,906
Arkansas 105,044 $8,886 $7,129 $14,514
California 1,608,718 $9,859 $2,533 $12,392
Colorado 179,676 $5,462 $10,310 $15,772
Connecticut 74,538 $11,287 $10,273 $21,559
Delaware 36,409 $6,984 $16,517 $23,313
Florida 595,444 $8,323 $2,301 $10,625
Georgia 356,921 $9,844 $4,983 $14,827
Hawaii 34,151 $13,881 $4,381 $18,131
Idaho 53,699 $10,612 $8,457 $18,571
Illinois 305,508 $18,752 $8,002 $26,318
Indiana 237,621 $6,408 $10,391 $16,535
Iowa 118,991 $6,115 $10,129 $16,245
Kansas 123,169 $8,680 $7,234 $15,749
Kentucky 137,574 $7,931 $9,312 $17,009
Louisiana 163,735 $6,209 $5,588 $11,797
Maine 32,862 $8,724 $7,098 $15,822
Maryland 213,324 $9,050 $7,801 $16,851
Massachusetts 145,913 $9,611 $5,646 $15,257
Michigan 343,596 $8,197 $14,922 $23,119
Minnesota 171,312 $11,759 $9,931 $21,690
Mississippi 121,550 $8,161 $7,994 $16,154
Missouri 156,493 $9,504 $7,528 $17,032
Montana 33,459 $7,646 $6,948 $14,594
Nebraska 72,564 $11,113 $7,027 $17,887
Nevada 75,873 $6,490 $2,554 $9,044
New Hampshire 32,348 $4,370 $9,467 $13,837
New Jersey 252,098 $7,753 $7,369 $15,122
New Mexico 65,855 $15,134 $3,685 $18,819
New York 494,065 $12,428 $5,763 $18,191
North Carolina 392,374 $11,090 $5,096 $16,186
North Dakota 31,900 $9,133 $10,562 $19,695
Ohio 374,222 $7,567 $9,652 $17,220
Oklahoma 123,954 $5,838 $8,129 $13,967
Oregon 129,767 $7,395 $8,636 $16,031
Pennsylvania 309,837 $6,097 $10,850 $16,947
Rhode Island 31,426 $6,137 $9,087 $15,224
South Carolina 164,276 $7,624 $10,697 $17,704
South Dakota 31,957 $7,665 $8,710 $15,679
Tennessee 178,618 $11,412 $7,021 $18,138
Texas 1,044,747 $9,039 $5,567 $14,606
Utah 129,310 $8,717 $6,039 $14,755
Vermont 19,509 $7,370 $15,436 $22,142
Virginia 298,864 $7,215 $8,866 $15,992
Washington 214,902 $10,296 $5,460 $15,756
West Virginia 62,038 $6,309 $7,577 $13,179
Wisconsin 198,362 $9,107 $7,250 $16,358
Wyoming 20,947 $26,393 $3,287 $29,649
D.C. 2,711 $34,466 $5,005 $39,471
U.S. 10,600,381 $9,327 $6,723 $15,959
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 and student financial aid, excluding appropriations for research, hospitals, and medical education. Education appropriations include federal stimulus funding.
  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. Total education revenue includes federal stimulus funding.
  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.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

State Spotlight : Illinois

IL

graph of education appropriations used for pensionsEducation appropriations per FTE in Illinois continue to be an outlier at twice the U.S. average and 32.6% above 2000 levels (the U.S. high point). The significant increase in appropriations over the last decade is driven largely by the state’s efforts to address its historically underfunded state retirement pension system.

In 2021, 41.9% of all education appropriations in Illinois went to their state retirement pension system. Of the $2.0 billion in pension payments, 77.7% was used for past unfunded liabilities, not current employees. This means that even after considering additional funding from local governments, over one quarter (29.4%) of all education appropriations in Illinois are now spent on past pension obligations and are not available for use in 2021. This translates to roughly $5,500 per FTE student, more than the entire per-FTE appropriation in either Colorado or New Hampshire.

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 shows higher education revenues for public two-year and four-year institutions separately. Currently, only data from 2019 through 2021 are available. In future years, this figure will expand to show longer trends over time.

As shown in Figure 2.4, 2021 education appropriations i i Sector-level total education revenue Total education revenue is the sum of education appropriations and net tuition at public two- and four-year institutions, reported separately. Sector-level total education revenue includes any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS at two-year public institutions are slightly above the per-FTE levels at four-year institutions ($9,347 and $8,859, respectively). 14 14There are several differences in education appropriations between the state and sector levels. The state-level data include agency funding and all federal stimulus funding allocated to public institutions. The sector-level data exclude agency funding, and include only the federal stimulus funding allocated to two-year or four-year public operating. In a few states, some uncategorizable state support and uncategorizable financial aid could not be allocated to either sector. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES In large part, the difference in education appropriations per FTE between two- and four-year public institutions is because SHEF data reported here include local appropriations, which primarily support two-year institutions, but do not include research, agricultural extension, and medical funding (RAM), of which an additional $1,690 per FTE was exclusively appropriated to four-year institutions in 2021. In addition, SHEF metrics use FTE enrollment rather than student headcount, and two-year institutions have a far greater proportion of part-time students. 15 15According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in fall 2021, an estimated 37% of two-year students (at both public and private institutions) attended full time, compared to 74% at four-year institutions. Source: Table 303.70, nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d21/tables/dt21_303.70.asp. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

Education appropriations per FTE throughout the report include federal stimulus funding. Two-year institutions received $214 per FTE in federal stimulus for public operating in 2021, and four-year institutions received $288 per FTE in federal stimulus for public operating.

Unlike education appropriations, net tuition revenue is very different at two- and four-year institutions. On average, two-year institutions received $2,604 in net tuition revenue per FTE, or 28.0% of the average net tuition revenue per FTE at four-year institutions ($9,295). As a result, four-year institutions have, on average, much higher total revenues with which to educate students than two-year institutions.

Figure 2.4

Public Education Appropriations and Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by Sector, U.S., FY 2019-2021 (Constant Dollars)


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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude 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 2021 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 sections include funding for institutions (general public operations) as well as funding for student financial aid. The following section explores the proportion of education appropriations allocated to student financial aid.

Financial Aid Share

States allocate financial aid to students attending both public (79.8%) and private (19.6%) institutions. A small portion of financial aid (0.3%) 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. 16 16Trends 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 75.6%, from $525 in 2001 (when these data were first collected) to $921 in 2021. State aid increased 8.8% 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. Similarly, following the short recession in 2020,  public aid grew from 9.5% to 9.9% of all education appropriations.
  • In 2021, aid to public institutions comprised 9.9% of all education appropriations, up from 5.1% in 2001.
Figure 2.5

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid per FTE and as a Percent of Education Appropriations, U.S., FY 2001-2021(Constant Dollars)


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 2021 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 over the last several decades, student contributions to higher education revenues have increased over time. However, in recent years, simultaneous growth in education appropriations and declines in net tuition revenues have resulted in small decreases in institutional reliance on student tuition dollars. 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 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 The measure of student share shows the proportion of total education revenue from net tuition. Net tuition and fee revenue excludes state and institutional financial aid but does not exclude federal financial aid or loans.

There has been a substantial shift of responsibility for financing public higher education toward net tuition revenue (from 20.9% to 42.1%) since 1980. Historically, student share has increased 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 35.8% in 2008 to an all-time high of 47.5% in 2013. During this time, students and their families turned to federal aid to cushion their growing share of higher education costs. From 2008 to 2012, the proportion of students attending public institutions using federal Pell Grant aid increased from 23.2% to 37.8%. Of greater concern, the percentage of students using federal loans increased from 23.7% to 30.1% during that time. 17 17These data were compiled from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) and the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2011-12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:12). VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

When the economy stabilizes, the student share also stabilizes and, as in recent years, decreases. Since the 2013 high point, the student share has declined 5.4 percentage points to 42.1% in 2021. In the last year, the student share declined 1.9 percentage points, the largest decrease ever observed in the SHEF dataset. Decreases in student share occur when growth in education appropriations outpaces growth in net tuition revenue. This year’s decrease in student share is due to declines in FTE enrollment and net tuition revenue as well as the increase in federal stimulus funding allocated to higher education. This downward trend may change in upcoming years as federal stimulus funding is depleted and FTE enrollment declines level out.

There are regional differences in the student share, but the overall trend of sharp increases during past economic recessions holds across each region. Additionally, from 2020 to 2021, the student share declined in each region: 2.7 percentage points in the West, 2.4 in the Midwest, 1.5 in the Northeast, and 1.2 in the South. Historically and today, the student share is highest in the Midwest and Northeast, while 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 1980-2021


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

Throughout the rest of the SHEF report, we more closely examine current and long-term U.S., state, and sector-level trends in each individual component of state funding, enrollment, net tuition, and total revenue.

Student Enrollment

Map 3.1

Net Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment, FY 2021

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.
  • 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 11.65 million students in 2011. Since 2011, FTE enrollment has declined for ten straight years to 10.60 million in 2021. In recent years (since 2015), these declines have been less than 1.0% annually. As a result, in 2021, public institutions enrolled 10,600,381 FTE students, down 9.0% from the peak in 2011, but still 3.3% above 2008 levels. Additionally, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, enrollment declined across sectors in 2021. 18 18National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021). Fall 2021 enrollment (as of October 21). nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/ VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

1. State Comparisons

Figure 3.1 shows net FTE enrollment for each state in fiscal year 2021. Table 3.1 provides additional detail on how enrollment has changed over time in each state.

  • Across the states, FTE enrollment ranged from roughly 2,700 students in Washington, D.C., and 13,700 in Alaska to 1.6 million in California. Only California and Texas had more than 1 million FTE enrolled students in 2021, and 25% of all students attending a public institution in the U.S. attended an institution in either California or Texas.
  • Enrollment declined in 47 states and Washington, D.C., between 2020 and 2021, more than in any other year. These declines ranged from 0.02% in South Dakota (representing only 5 FTE) to 8.7% in Alaska (1,312 FTE) and 14.6% in Washington, D.C. (465 FTE). Enrollment declines were greater than 5.0% in 16 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment increased in only three states: Illinois (0.9%), Utah (1.2%), and Delaware (2.4%).
  • Enrollment has declined in 43 states and Washington D.C., since 2011, but in only one state compared to the start of the SHEF dataset: FTE enrollment in Illinois has declined 10.7% since 1980.

Figure 3.1

Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment by State, FY 2021


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 1980-2021

State 1980 2001 2011 2016 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2016 % Change Since 2011 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama 138,620 165,833 212,758 195,536 200,991 194,930 -3.0% -0.3% -8.4% 17.5% 40.6%
Alaska 10,530 16,079 21,090 19,269 15,051 13,739 -8.7% -28.7% -34.9% -14.6% 30.5%
Arizona 120,148 194,629 275,071 279,239 314,892 292,192 -7.2% 4.6% 6.2% 50.1% 143.2%
Arkansas 53,130 87,337 124,085 117,112 110,945 105,044 -5.3% -10.3% -15.3% 20.3% 97.7%
California 979,142 1,322,308 1,580,877 1,584,280 1,611,971 1,608,718 -0.2% 1.5% 1.8% 21.7% 64.3%
Colorado 113,281 141,492 195,621 180,264 188,864 179,676 -4.9% -0.3% -8.2% 27.0% 58.6%
Connecticut 58,909 60,976 86,281 85,705 81,422 74,538 -8.5% -13.0% -13.6% 22.2% 26.5%
Delaware 20,664 28,944 34,648 36,472 35,571 36,409 2.4% -0.2% 5.1% 25.8% 76.2%
Florida 287,388 420,957 636,320 598,660 609,456 595,444 -2.3% -0.5% -6.4% 41.5% 107.2%
Georgia 157,155 234,998 386,534 346,741 360,193 356,921 -0.9% 2.9% -7.7% 51.9% 127.1%
Hawaii 30,465 31,810 40,743 38,414 34,736 34,151 -1.7% -11.1% -16.2% 7.4% 12.1%
Idaho 26,647 39,495 53,201 52,744 55,155 53,699 -2.6% 1.8% 0.9% 36.0% 101.5%
Illinois 342,097 323,876 393,313 342,422 302,722 305,508 0.9% -10.8% -22.3% -5.7% -10.7%
Indiana 142,061 193,130 273,322 249,925 245,224 237,621 -3.1% -4.9% -13.1% 23.0% 67.3%
Iowa 84,210 105,545 132,744 132,748 125,433 118,991 -5.1% -10.4% -10.4% 12.7% 41.3%
Kansas 87,216 100,476 141,031 135,366 129,622 123,169 -5.0% -9.0% -12.7% 22.6% 41.2%
Kentucky 89,389 119,500 159,806 149,314 140,429 137,574 -2.0% -7.9% -13.9% 15.1% 53.9%
Louisiana 106,686 168,121 183,633 167,897 165,145 163,735 -0.9% -2.5% -10.8% -2.6% 53.5%
Maine 26,250 29,287 38,284 34,604 34,005 32,862 -3.4% -5.0% -14.2% 12.2% 25.2%
Maryland 133,228 175,085 238,742 234,124 221,418 213,324 -3.7% -8.9% -10.6% 21.8% 60.1%
Massachusetts 122,952 128,404 168,671 169,189 156,878 145,913 -7.0% -13.8% -13.5% 13.6% 18.7%
Michigan 318,166 333,584 435,592 380,128 357,275 343,596 -3.8% -9.6% -21.1% 3.0% 8.0%
Minnesota 149,418 167,238 214,342 193,197 180,442 171,312 -5.1% -11.3% -20.1% 2.4% 14.7%
Mississippi 85,292 102,490 138,859 128,728 127,142 121,550 -4.4% -5.6% -12.5% 18.6% 42.5%
Missouri 120,468 156,588 197,890 192,781 163,408 156,493 -4.2% -18.8% -20.9% -0.1% 29.9%
Montana 25,452 33,660 40,961 37,952 35,252 33,459 -5.1% -11.8% -18.3% -0.6% 31.5%
Nebraska 56,360 65,725 84,384 76,442 73,833 72,564 -1.7% -5.1% -14.0% 10.4% 28.8%
Nevada 19,367 48,107 69,169 74,451 78,164 75,873 -2.9% 1.9% 9.7% 57.7% 291.8%
New Hampshire 19,415 26,506 39,036 36,640 34,695 32,348 -6.8% -11.7% -17.1% 22.0% 66.6%
New Jersey 171,390 178,671 277,147 268,296 261,616 252,098 -3.6% -6.0% -9.0% 41.1% 47.1%
New Mexico 48,268 66,847 92,078 93,379 70,090 65,855 -6.0% -29.5% -28.5% -1.5% 36.4%
New York 418,679 449,959 578,830 556,312 524,708 494,065 -5.8% -11.2% -14.6% 9.8% 18.0%
North Carolina 165,642 266,217 425,779 388,322 403,093 392,374 -2.7% 1.0% -7.8% 47.4% 136.9%
North Dakota 26,735 31,922 37,915 36,165 32,660 31,900 -2.3% -11.8% -15.9% -0.1% 19.3%
Ohio 291,000 337,379 460,747 388,777 385,027 374,222 -2.8% -3.7% -18.8% 10.9% 28.6%
Oklahoma 96,476 121,111 150,171 134,960 126,370 123,954 -1.9% -8.2% -17.5% 2.3% 28.5%
Oregon 96,946 111,006 168,374 151,544 137,801 129,767 -5.8% -14.4% -22.9% 16.9% 33.9%
Pennsylvania 243,296 288,334 374,997 350,435 331,077 309,837 -6.4% -11.6% -17.4% 7.5% 27.3%
Rhode Island 23,237 25,622 33,062 32,063 32,088 31,426 -2.1% -2.0% -4.9% 22.7% 35.2%
South Carolina 95,600 132,404 172,375 171,202 168,719 164,276 -2.6% -4.0% -4.7% 24.1% 71.8%
South Dakota 18,623 22,064 33,313 33,674 31,962 31,957 0.0% -5.1% -4.1% 44.8% 71.6%
Tennessee 124,022 159,838 193,994 183,251 184,992 178,618 -3.4% -2.5% -7.9% 11.7% 44.0%
Texas 466,900 667,534 979,943 1,020,366 1,071,308 1,044,747 -2.5% 2.4% 6.6% 56.5% 123.8%
Utah 47,061 91,953 125,073 122,066 127,833 129,310 1.2% 5.9% 3.4% 40.6% 174.8%
Vermont 13,656 15,914 22,578 20,429 20,562 19,509 -5.1% -4.5% -13.6% 22.6% 42.9%
Virginia 175,197 236,014 321,965 310,368 301,730 298,864 -0.9% -3.7% -7.2% 26.6% 70.6%
Washington 163,866 204,663 261,485 240,788 228,720 214,902 -6.0% -10.8% -17.8% 5.0% 31.1%
West Virginia 53,331 62,902 81,116 71,026 65,445 62,038 -5.2% -12.7% -23.5% -1.4% 16.3%
Wisconsin 174,163 196,523 240,625 217,856 206,545 198,362 -4.0% -8.9% -17.6% 0.9% 13.9%
Wyoming 14,048 20,198 26,392 23,812 21,653 20,947 -3.3% -12.0% -20.6% 3.7% 49.1%
D.C. N/A N/A 3,659 4,041 3,176 2,711 -14.6% -32.9% -25.9% N/A N/A
U.S. 6,852,242 8,709,255 11,654,967 11,085,435 10,924,333 10,600,381 -3.0% -4.4% -9.0% 21.7% 54.7%
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. 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.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

Table 3.1A presents 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. 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 2021, there were 4.04 million FTE enrolled students at two-year institutions. Alaska and Washington, D.C., have no public two-year institutions. Two-year enrollment across all other states ranged from 2,482 FTE in Vermont to 917,528 FTE in California. Twenty-three percent of students attending a U.S. public two-year institution in 2021 attended an institution in California.

  • In the last year, enrollment declined 6.1% at two-year institutions. Forty-four states had declines, 11 of which were greater than 10%. The largest two-year FTE enrollment declines were in Connecticut (18.1%), Arizona (15.7%), West Virginia (14.6%), and New Mexico (14.5%). 
  • Two-year FTE enrollment increased in only five states from 2020 to 2021: South Dakota (0.2%), Delaware (0.9%), Illinois (2.3%), Oklahoma (2.6%), and Ohio (6.1%).

There were 6.56 million FTE enrolled students at four-year institutions in 2021, about 1.6 times the number of two-year students. Enrollment at four-year institutions ranged from 2,711 in Washington D.C., and 10,145 in Wyoming to 691,191 in California. Notably, Texas had the second highest FTE enrollment of students attending four-year institutions (599,455), but less than half as many two-year students as California. California represents about one-tenth of all four-year public enrollment.

  • From 2020 to 2021, FTE enrollment declined 0.9% at four-year institutions. Thirty-five states and Washington, D.C., had declines. Only Washington, D.C. (14.6%) was greater than 10%. The second and third largest declines were 8.7% in Alaska and 6.1% in Ohio. 
  • Four-year FTE enrollment increased in 15 states from 2020 to 2021. The largest increase was 2.8% in Delaware. 

Thirty states had enrollment declines in both sectors, and the only state with increases in enrollment across both sectors was Delaware. The two-year sector generally had larger enrollment declines across states—in 43 states, enrollment took a larger hit in the two-year sector than in the four-year sector from 2020 to 2021. However, in four states, enrollment declined in the four-year sector only: Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. 

Figure 3.1A shows that states enroll different proportions of students across sectors. Overall, 38.1% of FTE students attended a two-year institution in the United States. The percentage of FTE at two-year institutions varied from only 12.7% in Vermont to 57.0% in California. Only two states (California and Wyoming) had more FTE students enrolled in the two-year sector than in the four-year sector.

Figure 3.1A

Percent of Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment at Two-Year Institutions by State, FY 2021


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.
  3. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.acenet.edu/). Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges and "less-than-two-year" degree-granting institutions not assigned a Carnegie classification are considered two-year institutions.
  4. Fiscal year 2021 two-year FTE is a projected amount for Illinois.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

enrollmentMeasurement Note: Sector Enrollment Mix

States vary in the proportion of 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) 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 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 (and do not need to be).

Table 3.1A

Public Higher Education Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment by Sector and State, FY 2019-2021

Two-Year FTE Four-Year FTE
State 2019 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019
Alabama 59,288 54,331 51,745 -4.8% -12.7% 143,485 146,660 143,185 -2.4% -0.2%
Alaska 0 0 0 N/A N/A 16,721 15,051 13,739 -8.7% -17.8%
Arizona 110,557 109,319 92,151 -15.7% -16.6% 182,299 205,573 200,041 -2.7% 9.7%
Arkansas 31,641 30,830 27,633 -10.4% -12.7% 81,697 80,115 77,412 -3.4% -5.2%
California 938,182 930,195 917,528 -1.4% -2.2% 672,687 681,776 691,191 1.4% 2.8%
Colorado 56,000 61,550 56,515 -8.2% 0.9% 127,744 127,314 123,161 -3.3% -3.6%
Connecticut 26,419 24,779 20,295 -18.1% -23.2% 57,374 56,643 54,243 -4.2% -5.5%
Delaware 8,886 8,412 8,486 0.9% -4.5% 27,524 27,159 27,923 2.8% 1.4%
Florida 315,763 312,291 291,691 -6.6% -7.6% 293,197 297,165 303,753 2.2% 3.6%
Georgia 86,540 86,454 77,837 -10.0% -10.1% 269,808 273,739 279,084 2.0% 3.4%
Hawaii 14,820 14,411 13,697 -5.0% -7.6% 20,434 20,326 20,455 0.6% 0.1%
Idaho 15,992 15,235 14,782 -3.0% -7.6% 38,429 39,920 38,917 -2.5% 1.3%
Illinois 140,713 136,458 139,651 2.3% -0.8% 166,254 166,264 165,857 -0.2% -0.2%
Indiana 63,913 62,784 58,773 -6.4% -8.0% 182,388 182,441 178,849 -2.0% -1.9%
Iowa 57,239 55,791 52,176 -6.5% -8.8% 72,148 69,642 66,815 -4.1% -7.4%
Kansas 52,895 51,124 47,174 -7.7% -10.8% 79,358 78,498 75,995 -3.2% -4.2%
Kentucky 43,446 43,531 40,579 -6.8% -6.6% 98,556 96,897 96,996 0.1% -1.6%
Louisiana 43,091 43,802 39,608 -9.6% -8.1% 120,841 121,344 124,127 2.3% 2.7%
Maine 9,773 9,972 8,925 -10.5% -8.7% 24,174 24,033 23,937 -0.4% -1.0%
Maryland 89,990 84,662 76,480 -9.7% -15.0% 139,253 136,756 136,844 0.1% -1.7%
Massachusetts 49,799 46,920 41,860 -10.8% -15.9% 110,528 110,527 104,053 -5.9% -5.9%
Michigan 116,340 108,318 102,319 -5.5% -12.1% 249,975 248,957 241,277 -3.1% -3.5%
Minnesota 76,219 74,260 69,472 -6.4% -8.9% 108,148 106,182 101,840 -4.1% -5.8%
Mississippi 58,299 56,938 52,232 -8.3% -10.4% 71,200 70,204 69,318 -1.3% -2.6%
Missouri 59,765 51,524 48,416 -6.0% -19.0% 122,734 111,884 108,077 -3.4% -11.9%
Montana 6,678 6,386 5,964 -6.6% -10.7% 29,697 28,866 27,495 -4.7% -7.4%
Nebraska 26,142 24,096 22,681 -5.9% -13.2% 49,798 49,737 49,883 0.3% 0.2%
Nevada 29,026 29,890 27,955 -6.5% -3.7% 47,398 48,273 47,918 -0.7% 1.1%
New Hampshire 9,853 9,059 8,066 -11.0% -18.1% 26,500 25,636 24,282 -5.3% -8.4%
New Jersey 99,904 97,367 87,901 -9.7% -12.0% 162,374 164,249 164,197 0.0% 1.1%
New Mexico 37,798 33,544 28,678 -14.5% -24.1% 39,242 36,546 37,176 1.7% -5.3%
New York 210,891 200,823 174,908 -12.9% -17.1% 326,233 323,886 319,158 -1.5% -2.2%
North Carolina 179,659 186,828 174,757 -6.5% -2.7% 214,263 216,265 217,617 0.6% 1.6%
North Dakota 7,028 6,701 6,493 -3.1% -7.6% 26,753 25,959 25,407 -2.1% -5.0%
Ohio 99,164 103,898 110,206 6.1% 11.1% 287,287 281,129 264,015 -6.1% -8.1%
Oklahoma 40,585 36,927 37,883 2.6% -6.7% 88,260 89,443 86,071 -3.8% -2.5%
Oregon 60,770 56,052 50,320 -10.2% -17.2% 83,519 81,749 79,447 -2.8% -4.9%
Pennsylvania 79,979 78,240 71,023 -9.2% -11.2% 251,685 252,837 238,814 -5.5% -5.1%
Rhode Island 9,333 9,612 8,994 -6.4% -3.6% 22,645 22,476 22,432 -0.2% -0.9%
South Carolina 57,624 57,648 53,730 -6.8% -6.8% 109,116 111,071 110,545 -0.5% 1.3%
South Dakota 5,810 5,839 5,848 0.2% 0.7% 27,006 26,123 26,109 -0.1% -3.3%
Tennessee 72,783 72,808 66,125 -9.2% -9.1% 111,689 112,184 112,493 0.3% 0.7%
Texas 487,864 485,422 445,292 -8.3% -8.7% 578,843 585,886 599,455 2.3% 3.6%
Utah 25,832 24,933 24,658 -1.1% -4.5% 102,270 102,901 104,654 1.7% 2.3%
Vermont 2,652 2,569 2,482 -3.4% -6.4% 17,806 17,993 17,027 -5.4% -4.4%
Virginia 100,141 96,823 94,137 -2.8% -6.0% 201,878 204,907 204,727 -0.1% 1.4%
Washington 123,981 117,118 103,034 -12.0% -16.9% 112,000 111,602 111,868 0.2% -0.1%
West Virginia 11,076 11,035 9,424 -14.6% -14.9% 55,501 54,410 52,614 -3.3% -5.2%
Wisconsin 72,054 64,314 58,255 -9.4% -19.2% 137,600 142,231 140,108 -1.5% 1.8%
Wyoming 11,214 10,940 10,802 -1.3% -3.7% 10,980 10,713 10,145 -5.3% -7.6%
D.C. 0 0 0 N/A N/A 3,518 3,176 2,711 -14.6% -22.9%
U.S. 4,393,411 4,302,763 4,039,641 -6.1% -8.1% 6,597,299 6,622,142 6,560,746 -0.9% -0.6%
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 recently required components of the SHEF data collection 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. Fiscal year 2021 two-year FTE is a projected amount for Illinois.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Education Appropriations

Map 3.2

Education Appropriations per FTE, FY 2021

Fiscal year 2021 marks the ninth 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. State-level and sector-level education appropriations include federal stimulus funding. Sector-level education appropriations do not include agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS  Inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE increased 4.5% from 2020 to 2021, reaching $9,327 (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 and continuing after the Great Recession in 2008, however, annual increases in education appropriations per FTE have been smaller than the declines during each recession. After a historic low in 2012 following the Great Recession, states entered the 2020 recession with the lowest amount of education appropriations per FTE compared to the beginning of any other recession period since 1980. During the 2020 recession, federal stimulus funding protected education appropriation levels in many states, reversing the trend of large cuts to education appropriations in years following economic recessions. 19 19Federal stimulus funds protected education appropriations in two ways: States received federal stimulus funding for other priority budget areas, reducing the need to redirect higher education funds toward those areas, and states received targeted federal stimulus funding directly to higher education. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

Despite recent increases, education appropriations remain 1.2% below 2008 levels and 10.2% below 2001 levels (two pre-recession high points). Excluding federal stimulus funding, education appropriations per FTE increased 2.0% in the last year, yet remain 4.7% below 2008 levels and 13.4% below 2001 levels. 

1. State Comparisons

States vary widely in their per-student funding for higher education. Education appropriations per FTE in 2021 ranged from $4,370 in New Hampshire to $26,393 in Wyoming and $34,466 in Washington, D.C. (Figure 3.2). 

  • From 2020 to 2021, education appropriations per FTE declined in 10 states. Only Nevada had a decline greater than 15% (18.7%). Nevada’s declines were due to a special reduction in general fund appropriations following shortfalls in state revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Education appropriations per FTE increased in 40 states and Washington, D.C., in the last year. In 14 states and Washington, D.C., the increases were greater than 10%. The largest increases were in Vermont (98.6%), Washington, D.C. (46.3%), Wyoming (33.3%), Minnesota (31.8%), and New Hampshire (30.7%). These increases were primarily but not entirely due to federal stimulus funds. In Vermont, education appropriations increased 44.6% over the last year, even after excluding federal stimulus funds. This increase is due to the state’s low base of per-student funding coupled with a one-time bridge appropriation in 2021.

The majority of states continue funding higher education at a lower level than prior to the Great Recession. Twenty-nine states have not yet recovered from the 2008 Great Recession (meaning their education appropriations per FTE in 2021 remain below 2008 levels). In 36 states, education appropriations per FTE remain below the level seen in 2001 prior to the tech bust.

Federal stimulus funding has a heavy impact on the above figures. On average, states allocated $335 per FTE of stimulus to higher education. In 2021, three states and Washington, D.C., allocated more than $3,000 per FTE in federal stimulus funding to public higher education: Washington, D.C. ($10,853), Wyoming ($6,355), Minnesota ($3,140), and Vermont ($3,077). After excluding federal stimulus funding from all years in which it was allocated (2009-2012 and 2020-2021):

  • Education appropriations per FTE declined in 18 states from 2020 to 2021. The largest declines were in Colorado (37.6%), Nevada (15.1%), and Louisiana (10.0%). 20 20Louisiana higher education institutions were appropriated $96.7 million of Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the CARES Act in fiscal year 2020. These funds were utilized by higher education in fiscal year 2021 to alleviate a $121 million dollar state general fund reduction. Along with $3.3 million of additional CRF funds for use in fiscal year 2021, higher education received a true operating reduction of $21 million. In fiscal year 2022, the full state general fund reduction was restored. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES
  • Education appropriations increased in 32 states and Washington, D.C., in the last year. The largest increases were in Vermont (44.6%), Washington (15.7%), and Michigan (15.5%).
  • Thirty-three states have not yet recovered from the 2008 recession, and 37 have not yet recovered from the 2001 recession.

Figure 3.2

Public Higher Education Appropriations per FTE by State, FY 2021 (Adjusted)


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 2021 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 : Colorado

CO

federal contributions to education appropriations per FTEIn 2021, Colorado state and local education appropriations per FTE (excluding federal stimulus funding) declined by 37.6%. However, after including federal stimulus funding, the state saw a 7.8% increase in education appropriations per FTE. This wide difference is due to an unadjusted $404 million (39.1%) decline in Colorado’s state and local education appropriations and an influx of $458 million in federal CARES Act funding allocated to higher education to stimulate the economy by supporting Colorado’s workforce through increasing student retention and completion at state institutions of public higher education. In 2021, 42.1% of Colorado’s education appropriations came from federal stimulus funding.

Table 3.2

Public Higher Education Appropriations per FTE by State, FY 1980-2021 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 1980 2001 2011 2016 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2016 % Change Since 2011 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama $7,160 $8,428 $7,066 $6,524 $8,073 $7,733 -4.2% 18.5% 9.4% -8.2% 8.0%
Alaska $23,052 $14,242 $15,089 $16,000 $16,598 $17,497 5.4% 9.4% 16.0% 22.8% -24.1%
Arizona $7,995 $9,057 $7,370 $5,920 $5,812 $6,194 6.6% 4.6% -16.0% -31.6% -22.5%
Arkansas $9,475 $9,596 $9,364 $8,680 $8,619 $8,886 3.1% 2.4% -5.1% -7.4% -6.2%
California $8,574 $9,415 $7,629 $8,670 $9,578 $9,859 2.9% 13.7% 29.2% 4.7% 15.0%
Colorado $5,439 $6,587 $4,006 $4,493 $5,066 $5,462 7.8% 21.6% 36.4% -17.1% 0.4%
Connecticut $8,071 $15,833 $13,007 $10,695 $9,917 $11,287 13.8% 5.5% -13.2% -28.7% 39.8%
Delaware $7,630 $8,829 $6,041 $5,774 $6,544 $6,984 6.7% 20.9% 15.6% -20.9% -8.5%
Florida $6,755 $10,242 $6,845 $6,974 $8,118 $8,323 2.5% 19.3% 21.6% -18.7% 23.2%
Georgia $9,382 $14,515 $9,105 $9,436 $10,468 $9,844 -6.0% 4.3% 8.1% -32.2% 4.9%
Hawaii $9,156 $9,170 $8,847 $10,017 $13,366 $13,881 3.8% 38.6% 56.9% 51.4% 51.6%
Idaho $12,663 $13,486 $8,480 $9,388 $10,264 $10,612 3.4% 13.0% 25.1% -21.3% -16.2%
Illinois $9,505 $14,407 $13,203 $13,822 $18,353 $18,752 2.2% 35.7% 42.0% 30.2% 97.3%
Indiana $9,444 $9,373 $6,101 $6,784 $6,569 $6,408 -2.4% -5.5% 5.0% -31.6% -32.1%
Iowa $10,109 $11,071 $6,140 $6,040 $5,925 $6,115 3.2% 1.3% -0.4% -44.8% -39.5%
Kansas $9,571 $10,918 $7,161 $6,757 $7,520 $8,680 15.4% 28.5% 21.2% -20.5% -9.3%
Kentucky $10,403 $12,649 $8,686 $8,061 $7,783 $7,931 1.9% -1.6% -8.7% -37.3% -23.8%
Louisiana $9,333 $8,253 $9,229 $6,177 $6,263 $6,209 -0.9% 0.5% -32.7% -24.8% -33.5%
Maine $6,990 $10,327 $7,374 $7,726 $8,150 $8,724 7.0% 12.9% 18.3% -15.5% 24.8%
Maryland $7,254 $9,743 $6,983 $7,670 $9,012 $9,050 0.4% 18.0% 29.6% -7.1% 24.8%
Massachusetts $8,067 $10,886 $6,697 $7,556 $8,707 $9,611 10.4% 27.2% 43.5% -11.7% 19.1%
Michigan $10,008 $12,274 $6,878 $7,265 $7,669 $8,197 6.9% 12.8% 19.2% -33.2% -18.1%
Minnesota $10,591 $10,734 $6,766 $7,669 $8,921 $11,759 31.8% 53.3% 73.8% 9.5% 11.0%
Mississippi $8,699 $10,595 $7,702 $7,905 $6,837 $8,161 19.4% 3.2% 6.0% -23.0% -6.2%
Missouri $10,737 $12,859 $7,990 $7,883 $8,907 $9,504 6.7% 20.6% 18.9% -26.1% -11.5%
Montana $7,568 $5,838 $5,359 $5,984 $6,272 $7,646 21.9% 27.8% 42.7% 31.0% 1.0%
Nebraska $8,671 $8,635 $9,175 $10,519 $10,677 $11,113 4.1% 5.6% 21.1% 28.7% 28.2%
Nevada $8,724 $9,150 $8,486 $7,223 $7,986 $6,490 -18.7% -10.1% -23.5% -29.1% -25.6%
New Hampshire $4,575 $5,064 $3,089 $2,823 $3,345 $4,370 30.7% 54.8% 41.5% -13.7% -4.5%
New Jersey $8,002 $10,812 $8,023 $7,753 $8,705 $7,753 -10.9% 0.0% -3.4% -28.3% -3.1%
New Mexico $10,857 $11,019 $9,668 $11,488 $14,792 $15,134 2.3% 31.7% 56.5% 37.3% 39.4%
New York $11,223 $10,602 $10,516 $11,184 $12,396 $12,428 0.3% 11.1% 18.2% 17.2% 10.7%
North Carolina $10,431 $13,494 $10,383 $10,846 $10,845 $11,090 2.3% 2.3% 6.8% -17.8% 6.3%
North Dakota $8,739 $7,426 $7,972 $9,575 $9,041 $9,133 1.0% -4.6% 14.6% 23.0% 4.5%
Ohio $8,381 $10,068 $6,184 $6,882 $6,569 $7,567 15.2% 10.0% 22.4% -24.8% -9.7%
Oklahoma $8,463 $10,346 $8,819 $7,315 $6,267 $5,838 -6.8% -20.2% -33.8% -43.6% -31.0%
Oregon $7,231 $7,830 $4,699 $5,307 $6,717 $7,395 10.1% 39.4% 57.4% -5.6% 2.3%
Pennsylvania $9,825 $9,834 $5,753 $4,642 $5,704 $6,097 6.9% 31.3% 6.0% -38.0% -37.9%
Rhode Island $10,420 $9,029 $5,080 $5,424 $5,190 $6,137 18.3% 13.2% 20.8% -32.0% -41.1%
South Carolina $9,635 $8,267 $5,647 $5,906 $6,687 $7,624 14.0% 29.1% 35.0% -7.8% -20.9%
South Dakota $9,422 $8,910 $6,484 $6,324 $7,952 $7,665 -3.6% 21.2% 18.2% -14.0% -18.7%
Tennessee $9,222 $9,665 $9,518 $9,336 $11,306 $11,412 0.9% 22.2% 19.9% 18.1% 23.8%
Texas $8,407 $9,768 $8,629 $8,734 $8,293 $9,039 9.0% 3.5% 4.7% -7.5% 7.5%
Utah $10,051 $8,722 $6,576 $7,845 $8,984 $8,717 -3.0% 11.1% 32.6% -0.1% -13.3%
Vermont $4,525 $4,131 $3,283 $2,942 $3,711 $7,370 98.6% 150.5% 124.5% 78.4% 62.9%
Virginia $7,660 $9,537 $6,342 $5,697 $7,312 $7,215 -1.3% 26.6% 13.8% -24.3% -5.8%
Washington $8,908 $8,572 $6,390 $7,101 $8,670 $10,296 18.8% 45.0% 61.1% 20.1% 15.6%
West Virginia $7,868 $7,533 $6,138 $5,330 $6,137 $6,309 2.8% 18.4% 2.8% -16.3% -19.8%
Wisconsin $10,322 $11,546 $8,993 $7,823 $8,394 $9,107 8.5% 16.4% 1.3% -21.1% -11.8%
Wyoming $16,030 $13,095 $18,715 $20,944 $19,793 $26,393 33.3% 26.0% 41.0% 101.5% 64.7%
D.C. N/A N/A $17,208 $14,894 $23,563 $34,466 46.3% 131.4% 100.3% N/A N/A
U.S. $9,068 $10,386 $7,930 $8,174 $8,927 $9,327 4.5% 14.1% 17.6% -10.2% 2.9%
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. Education appropriations include 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 3.2A presents data on education appropriations per FTE for the public two-year and four-year sectors separately. Two- and four-year institutions have different funding structures in many states and vary in the amount of funding they receive from state and local sources. 21 21Unlike state-level education appropriations, sector-level education appropriations exclude agency funding, and include only the portion of federal stimulus funding known to be allocated for two-year or four-year public operating purposes. In a handful of states, some uncategorizable state support and uncategorizable financial aid are not allocated to either sector and are excluded from the sector-level data. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

In the last year, inflation-adjusted state and local education appropriations increased 11.0% at two-year institutions, reaching $9,347 per FTE. Because one in five FTE students at two-year institutions are located in California, the U.S. weighted average is heavily affected by California’s relatively high education appropriations. When excluding California, the U.S. average state and local education appropriations at two-year institutions is nearly $1,000 per FTE lower ($8,399 per FTE). Two-year public education appropriations per FTE ranged widely across states, from $3,962 in Louisiana to $18,718 per FTE in Wyoming. In the last year, two-year education appropriations per FTE declined in seven states. The largest declines were in Nevada (14.5%) and Oklahoma (12.6%). Forty-two states had increases, and 22 states had single-year increases greater than 10%. The largest increases were in Mississippi (37.5%), Minnesota (38.8%), and Vermont (74.5%). 

At four-year institutions, education appropriations per FTE were largely flat from 2020 to 2021 (a 0.6% increase above inflation), reaching $8,859. Appropriations ranged even more widely in the four-year sector, from less than $5,000 per student in Arizona and New Hampshire to over $20,000 per student in Illinois, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. 22 22A large portion of education appropriations in Illinois are not available for operations at public institutions. See the Illinois state spotlight to learn more. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES From 2020 to 2021, four-year education appropriations per FTE declined in 16 states. The largest declines were in Nevada (16.0%) and New Jersey (15.2%). Of the 34 states and Washington D.C., with increases, 14 were above 10%. The largest increases were 71.0% in Vermont (due to increases in federal stimulus funding and a one-time bridge appropriation from the state), 46.5% in Wyoming, and 42.2% in New Hampshire.

Sector-level education appropriations in 2021 included $214 per FTE in federal stimulus for two-year institutions, and $288 per FTE in federal stimulus for four-year institutions. Excluding federal stimulus funding, education appropriations at two-year institutions increased 9.1% from 2020 to 2021, while appropriations at four-year institutions decreased 1.4%. 

  • Without federal stimulus funding, two-year education appropriations declined in 10 states. The largest declines were in Colorado (26.2%), Nevada (14.5%), Oklahoma (11.7%), and Louisiana (9.1%).
  • Twenty-seven states had declines in four-year education appropriations when excluding federal stimulus funding. In 11 states, declines were greater than 5% per FTE. The largest declines were in Colorado (46.6%), Nevada (16.0%), Louisiana (12.2%), and Missouri (10.2%). 

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. 

  • In 2019 and 2020, four-year institutions received more in education appropriations per student than two-year institutions, but in 2021 they received $488 less per FTE. This means that in 2021, two-year education appropriations per FTE were 5.4% higher than four-year education appropriations, with 25 states reporting higher funding in the two-year sector. 
  • Arizona had the largest disparity favoring the two-year sector (99.2% higher), although this is entirely due to local appropriations that exclusively support community colleges. Florida has the highest disparity favoring the four-year sector, with 77.3% greater education appropriations per FTE at four-year institutions.

These high-level data on education appropriations should be interpreted cautiously and with consideration of each state’s broader context. 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 per FTE for two- and four-year public institutions in fiscal year 2021.

  • Two-year public institutions received $5,647 per FTE in state general operating appropriations, 76.2% of the four-year general operating appropriation ($7,414).
  • State financial aid awards averaged $510 at two-year institutions, 44.8% of the $1,138 awarded to students attending four-year institutions.
  • Local appropriations were 151.8 times higher at two-year institutions ($2,976) compared to four-year institutions ($20 per FTE). There were two-year local appropriations in 29 states, compared to only eight for four-year institutions.
  • RAM averaged $1,690 at four-year institutions. These funds, which are only allocated to four-year institutions, are excluded from education appropriations but included in total state support.
  • Total state and local support at two-year institutions 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 includes any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector and does not include agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS was $9,347, 88.6% of the amount at four-year institutions ($10,555).

Figure 3.2A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education Appropriations per FTE by State, FY 2021


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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude 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.acenet.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 3.2A

Public Higher Education Appropriations per FTE by Sector and State, FY 2019-2021 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

Two-Year Education Appropriations Four-Year Education Appropriations
State 2019 2020 2021 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 2021 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019
Alabama $7,443 $9,270 $8,894 0.95 -4.1% 19.5% $7,158 $7,388 $7,276 0.82 -1.5% 1.6%
Alaska $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A $15,915 $16,111 $16,983 1.92 5.4% 6.7%
Arizona $9,871 $10,308 $11,550 1.24 12.1% 17.0% $3,680 $3,614 $3,894 0.44 7.8% 5.8%
Arkansas $8,091 $8,412 $9,139 0.98 8.6% 13.0% $8,167 $8,259 $8,501 0.96 2.9% 4.1%
California $8,850 $8,653 $9,776 1.05 13.0% 10.5% $8,789 $9,393 $8,540 0.96 -9.1% -2.8%
Colorado $6,148 $6,182 $6,541 0.70 5.8% 6.4% $4,224 $4,629 $5,019 0.57 8.4% 18.8%
Connecticut $9,012 $9,408 $11,949 1.28 27.0% 32.6% $9,932 $10,170 $10,936 1.23 7.5% 10.1%
Delaware $9,143 $9,989 $10,274 1.10 2.9% 12.4% $5,661 $6,329 $6,717 0.76 6.1% 18.7%
Florida $4,877 $4,945 $5,230 0.56 5.8% 7.2% $12,039 $12,077 $11,822 1.33 -2.1% -1.8%
Georgia $7,093 $7,156 $7,377 0.79 3.1% 4.0% $10,463 $10,757 $9,901 1.12 -8.0% -5.4%
Hawaii $10,668 $10,948 $11,551 1.24 5.5% 8.3% $13,406 $12,984 $13,199 1.49 1.7% -1.5%
Idaho $5,643 $5,974 $6,233 0.67 4.3% 10.5% $9,401 $9,256 $9,389 1.06 1.4% -0.1%
Illinois $12,547 $13,702 $13,631 1.46 -0.5% 8.6% $19,942 $20,689 $21,357 2.41 3.2% 7.1%
Indiana $5,934 $5,951 $5,985 0.64 0.6% 0.9% $7,156 $6,928 $6,483 0.73 -6.4% -9.4%
Iowa $4,759 $5,213 $5,610 0.60 7.6% 17.9% $6,639 $6,973 $6,999 0.79 0.4% 5.4%
Kansas $8,939 $9,348 $10,518 1.13 12.5% 17.7% $6,195 $6,476 $7,550 0.85 16.6% 21.9%
Kentucky $6,268 $6,393 $6,708 0.72 4.9% 7.0% $8,183 $8,330 $8,338 0.94 0.1% 1.9%
Louisiana $3,755 $3,770 $3,962 0.42 5.1% 5.5% $6,501 $6,320 $6,062 0.68 -4.1% -6.8%
Maine $7,512 $7,416 $8,392 0.90 13.2% 11.7% $7,655 $7,907 $8,280 0.93 4.7% 8.2%
Maryland $7,746 $8,467 $9,177 0.98 8.4% 18.5% $8,162 $8,964 $8,702 0.98 -2.9% 6.6%
Massachusetts $6,795 $7,406 $8,362 0.89 12.9% 23.1% $8,494 $8,751 $9,731 1.10 11.2% 14.6%
Michigan $9,933 $10,801 $11,873 1.27 9.9% 19.5% $6,607 $6,602 $6,877 0.78 4.2% 4.1%
Minnesota $6,740 $7,572 $10,513 1.12 38.8% 56.0% $8,106 $8,572 $9,527 1.08 11.1% 17.5%
Mississippi $6,348 $6,651 $9,145 0.98 37.5% 44.1% $6,767 $7,085 $7,578 0.86 7.0% 12.0%
Missouri $6,895 $8,618 $9,623 1.03 11.7% 39.6% $7,573 $8,671 $9,103 1.03 5.0% 20.2%
Montana $5,573 $6,048 $7,224 0.77 19.4% 29.6% $6,321 $6,805 $8,273 0.93 21.6% 30.9%
Nebraska $11,533 $12,796 $13,650 1.46 6.7% 18.4% $9,727 $9,939 $10,094 1.14 1.6% 3.8%
Nevada $6,153 $5,862 $5,011 0.54 -14.5% -18.6% $9,059 $9,269 $7,784 0.88 -16.0% -14.1%
New Hampshire $4,673 $6,010 $6,792 0.73 13.0% 45.3% $2,353 $2,724 $3,873 0.44 42.2% 64.6%
New Jersey $4,077 $4,606 $4,476 0.48 -2.8% 9.8% $10,312 $10,921 $9,258 1.04 -15.2% -10.2%
New Mexico $10,425 $12,244 $14,389 1.54 17.5% 38.0% $14,638 $16,555 $15,163 1.71 -8.4% 3.6%
New York $9,004 $9,058 $9,978 1.07 10.2% 10.8% $13,619 $13,662 $13,007 1.47 -4.8% -4.5%
North Carolina $8,266 $8,051 $8,690 0.93 7.9% 5.1% $12,714 $12,414 $12,096 1.37 -2.6% -4.9%
North Dakota $7,296 $7,878 $7,998 0.86 1.5% 9.6% $7,521 $7,812 $7,846 0.89 0.4% 4.3%
Ohio $7,922 $7,369 $7,346 0.79 -0.3% -7.3% $6,248 $6,258 $7,591 0.86 21.3% 21.5%
Oklahoma $5,846 $6,700 $5,858 0.63 -12.6% 0.2% $6,283 $6,249 $5,994 0.68 -4.1% -4.6%
Oregon $7,933 $9,092 $10,050 1.08 10.5% 26.7% $4,649 $5,055 $5,580 0.63 10.4% 20.0%
Pennsylvania $5,546 $5,867 $6,532 0.70 11.3% 17.8% $5,091 $5,172 $5,345 0.60 3.4% 5.0%
Rhode Island $4,923 $4,351 $5,499 0.59 26.4% 11.7% $5,004 $4,983 $5,574 0.63 11.9% 11.4%
South Carolina $7,046 $7,563 $7,738 0.83 2.3% 9.8% $5,790 $6,257 $7,667 0.87 22.5% 32.4%
South Dakota $5,095 $5,900 $6,504 0.70 10.2% 27.7% $6,218 $7,125 $6,739 0.76 -5.4% 8.4%
Tennessee $9,140 $9,268 $9,915 1.06 7.0% 8.5% $10,499 $11,082 $11,120 1.26 0.3% 5.9%
Texas $7,299 $7,655 $8,934 0.96 16.7% 22.4% $8,003 $7,424 $8,319 0.94 12.1% 4.0%
Utah $9,430 $10,227 $9,820 1.05 -4.0% 4.1% $8,122 $8,735 $8,393 0.95 -3.9% 3.3%
Vermont $2,717 $2,951 $5,150 0.55 74.5% 89.6% $2,809 $3,587 $6,133 0.69 71.0% 118.4%
Virginia $4,969 $5,494 $5,633 0.60 2.5% 13.4% $6,593 $7,942 $7,542 0.85 -5.0% 14.4%
Washington $6,687 $7,711 $9,788 1.05 26.9% 46.4% $8,357 $9,052 $9,639 1.09 6.5% 15.3%
West Virginia $7,132 $7,991 $9,148 0.98 14.5% 28.3% $5,308 $5,934 $6,038 0.68 1.7% 13.8%
Wisconsin $12,100 $13,389 $14,452 1.55 7.9% 19.4% $5,637 $5,521 $6,217 0.70 12.6% 10.3%
Wyoming $17,057 $16,396 $18,718 2.00 14.2% 9.7% $19,096 $19,535 $28,610 3.23 46.5% 49.8%
D.C. $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A $18,241 $22,221 $28,183 3.18 26.8% 54.5%
U.S. $8,156 $8,422 $9,347 1.00 11.0% 14.6% $8,565 $8,806 $8,859 1.00 0.6% 3.4%
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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude 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 recently required components of the SHEF data collection 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 2021 (Adjusted)

Two-Year Public Institutions Four-Year Public Institutions
State State Operating State Financial Aid Local Education Appropriations State and Local Support State Operating State Financial Aid Local Education Appropriations RAM State and Local Support
Alabama $8,744 $133 $17 $8,894 $8,894 $6,910 $366 $0 $7,276 $2,961 $10,255
Alaska $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $15,179 $772 $51 $16,983 $1,394 $18,377
Arizona $1,069 $7 $10,475 $11,550 $11,550 $3,200 $54 $0 $3,894 $1,205 $5,099
Arkansas $7,157 $429 $1,397 $9,139 $9,139 $6,846 $1,408 $109 $8,501 $3,446 $11,961
California $6,592 $318 $2,819 $9,776 $9,776 $6,634 $1,906 $0 $8,540 $1,127 $9,667
Colorado $1,801 $972 $1,788 $6,541 $6,541 $1,570 $900 $0 $5,019 $596 $5,615
Connecticut $11,588 $362 $0 $11,949 $11,949 $10,647 $289 $0 $10,936 $5,170 $16,106
Delaware $9,670 $100 $0 $10,274 $10,274 $5,109 $493 $0 $6,717 $335 $7,052
Florida $4,555 $504 $172 $5,230 $5,230 $9,291 $2,531 $0 $11,822 $1,672 $13,494
Georgia $6,356 $867 $0 $7,377 $7,377 $7,055 $2,826 $0 $9,901 $1,476 $11,377
Hawaii $11,161 $164 $0 $11,551 $11,551 $12,990 $93 $0 $13,199 $3,631 $16,831
Idaho $3,458 $197 $2,519 $6,233 $6,233 $8,882 $414 $0 $9,389 $1,604 $10,993
Illinois $6,395 $374 $6,701 $13,631 $13,631 $19,807 $1,338 $0 $21,357 $1,204 $22,592
Indiana $5,177 $808 $0 $5,985 $5,985 $5,133 $1,351 $0 $6,483 $1,639 $8,123
Iowa $4,298 $407 $782 $5,610 $5,610 $6,915 $62 $0 $6,999 $2,091 $9,102
Kansas $3,930 $24 $6,304 $10,518 $10,518 $5,831 $193 $368 $7,550 $3,008 $10,641
Kentucky $4,704 $1,720 $0 $6,708 $6,708 $6,068 $1,504 $320 $8,338 $1,895 $10,233
Louisiana $2,917 $509 $0 $3,962 $3,962 $2,886 $2,661 $0 $6,062 $2,441 $8,526
Maine $7,568 $701 $0 $8,392 $8,392 $7,259 $431 $0 $8,280 $1,149 $9,429
Maryland $4,021 $145 $4,930 $9,177 $9,177 $8,108 $412 $0 $8,702 $1,893 $10,595
Massachusetts $7,724 $503 $0 $8,362 $8,362 $9,222 $464 $0 $9,731 $438 $10,169
Michigan $4,916 $195 $6,763 $11,873 $11,873 $6,863 $14 $0 $6,877 $803 $7,679
Minnesota $6,993 $532 $0 $10,513 $10,513 $7,624 $913 $0 $9,527 $2,046 $11,573
Mississippi $5,241 $153 $1,451 $9,145 $9,145 $6,006 $578 $0 $7,578 $4,719 $12,297
Missouri $3,453 $1,355 $4,147 $9,623 $9,623 $7,217 $574 $0 $9,103 $40 $9,143
Montana $4,716 $60 $1,562 $7,224 $7,224 $7,056 $85 $0 $8,273 $1,475 $9,748
Nebraska $4,747 $195 $8,708 $13,650 $13,650 $9,793 $300 $0 $10,094 $4,560 $14,654
Nevada $4,448 $563 $0 $5,011 $5,011 $6,045 $1,727 $12 $7,784 $1,684 $9,468
New Hampshire $5,988 $306 $0 $6,792 $6,792 $2,674 $32 $0 $3,873 $474 $4,347
New Jersey $1,677 $730 $1,971 $4,476 $4,476 $7,772 $1,417 $0 $9,258 $1,478 $10,735
New Mexico $7,130 $455 $6,789 $14,389 $14,389 $14,898 $169 $0 $15,163 $3,863 $19,180
New York $3,598 $777 $5,603 $9,978 $9,978 $11,428 $1,423 $156 $13,007 $836 $13,843
North Carolina $6,305 $103 $1,782 $8,690 $8,690 $11,459 $637 $0 $12,096 $2,686 $14,782
North Dakota $7,371 $551 $0 $7,998 $7,998 $7,251 $518 $0 $7,846 $3,382 $11,228
Ohio $4,845 $32 $2,189 $7,346 $7,346 $6,355 $401 $0 $7,591 $992 $8,583
Oklahoma $3,905 $464 $1,489 $5,858 $5,858 $5,059 $934 $0 $5,994 $1,759 $7,753
Oregon $5,680 $754 $3,537 $10,050 $10,050 $5,088 $475 $0 $5,580 $1,350 $6,930
Pennsylvania $3,935 $351 $2,043 $6,532 $6,532 $4,629 $695 $0 $5,345 $371 $5,716
Rhode Island $4,745 $299 $0 $5,499 $5,499 $4,745 $174 $0 $5,574 $0 $5,574
South Carolina $3,596 $2,261 $1,678 $7,738 $7,738 $3,883 $2,262 $15 $7,667 $1,577 $9,346
South Dakota $5,795 $216 $0 $6,504 $6,504 $6,216 $350 $0 $6,739 $1,881 $8,620
Tennessee $6,919 $2,853 $0 $9,915 $9,915 $8,312 $2,718 $0 $11,120 $3,529 $14,649
Texas $3,411 $372 $5,152 $8,934 $8,934 $7,668 $361 $0 $8,319 $3,363 $11,682
Utah $9,700 $120 $0 $9,820 $9,820 $8,106 $287 $0 $8,393 $930 $9,323
Vermont $4,153 $713 $0 $5,150 $5,150 $3,695 $358 $0 $6,133 $985 $7,155
Virginia $4,852 $678 $104 $5,633 $5,633 $6,403 $1,080 $59 $7,542 $1,155 $8,700
Washington $8,274 $1,124 $0 $9,788 $9,788 $7,357 $2,178 $0 $9,639 $834 $10,473
West Virginia $7,565 $1,584 $0 $9,148 $9,148 $4,594 $1,444 $0 $6,038 $2,891 $8,934
Wisconsin $9,166 $415 $4,871 $14,452 $14,452 $5,070 $679 $0 $6,217 $1,461 $7,678
Wyoming $10,699 $563 $4,086 $18,718 $18,718 $18,434 $2,770 $0 $28,610 $4,259 $32,869
D.C. $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $21,949 $705 $0 $28,183 $4,409 $32,592
U.S. $5,647 $510 $2,976 $9,347 $9,347 $7,414 $1,138 $20 $8,859 $1,690 $10,555
Notes:
  1. State public operating appropriations are a measure of state support directly allocated to public two- and four-year institutions. State public 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, it 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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude 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. 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. RAM is included in four-year state and local support. Sector-level state and local support includes any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector.
  7. 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.
  8. Sector-level data are recently required components of the SHEF data collection 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. Alabama was unable to provide sector-level breakouts for all financial programs. As a result, 49% of Alabama's 2021 state public financial aid is excluded from this table.
  11. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 are missing non-reverting and lottery funds. Additionally, four-year public operating funds for New Mexico are estimated
  12. 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

State Public Financial Aid per FTE, FY 2021

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 and aid for students attending medical schools. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS is the part of education appropriations allocated to financial aid for students attending public institutions, excluding loans. While we present financial aid on a per FTE basis along with all other metrics in the SHEF report, it is important to note that financial aid is not awarded to all students, and increases in aid per FTE could be due to rising award amounts or an increase in the number of students receiving an award.

State public financial aid 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 forward, financial aid per FTE has increased in all but three years. 

State public financial aid per FTE increased 8.8% from 2020 to 2021 and reached an all-time high of $921 per FTE enrolled student. Nationally, state public financial aid has increased 39.8% since 2008 and 75.6% since 2001. Because financial aid per FTE has a low base, percentage increases represent smaller dollar-amount increases than similar figures in the other revenue metrics. The 8.8% increase in the last year corresponded to an additional $74 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 2021, 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 19 states and Washington, D.C., in the last year (Table 3.3). The largest percentage decrease was in Washington, D.C. (26.0%), with a decrease of $259 per FTE. Outside of Washington, D.C., the largest declines in financial aid were in Oklahoma (15.0% or $136 per FTE) and New York (11.8% or $165 per FTE). 

Of the 31 states with increases from 2020 to 2021, financial aid per FTE increased more than 10% in nine states, and there were notable increases in Washington (32.2% or $464 per FTE) and California (41.8% or $319 per FTE). In California, the increase is due to growth in financial aid awards to student parents and a reallocation in the sources of state financial aid from federal to state funds. Michigan had the highest percentage increase (393.3%), however, this percentage only represents an increase of $57 per FTE, and was largely due to declines in enrollment and the implementation of two new financial aid programs in the two-year sector. 23 23Some states, like California and Michigan, also use federal TANF allocations for state financial aid programs; these funds are not included in SHEF education appropriations. Michigan’s TANF allocations for state financial aid represent a large portion of the state’s total financial aid allocations. See the State Spotlight on Michigan for more information. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

financial aid reportingMeasurement Note: Financial Aid Reporting

Starting in 2020, the SHEF data collection 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. 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.

Figure 3.3

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid per FTE by State, FY 2021 (Adjusted)


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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. In several states, financial aid may include unawarded funds that were reverted back to the state.
  2. The U.S. calculation does not include the District of Columbia.
  3. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal year 2021 is missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
  4. Constant 2021 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 3.3

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid per FTE by State, FY 2001-2021 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 2001 2011 2016 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2016 % Change Since 2011 % Change Since 2001
Alabama $152 $277 $390 $517 $531 2.8% 36.2% 92.1% 249.3%
Alaska $0 $68 $716 $728 $796 9.3% 11.1% 1074.4% N/A
Arizona $30 $51 $45 $37 $38 5.0% -14.6% -24.5% 30.1%
Arkansas $642 $1,562 $1,187 $1,108 $1,174 6.0% -1.1% -24.8% 82.9%
California $366 $708 $772 $765 $1,084 41.8% 40.3% 53.1% 196.5%
Colorado $679 $552 $795 $1,027 $1,026 -0.2% 29.1% 85.9% 51.1%
Connecticut $485 $432 $342 $296 $306 3.4% -10.6% -29.3% -37.0%
Delaware $452 $420 $371 $388 $370 -4.8% -0.4% -12.0% -18.2%
Florida $831 $966 $651 $1,427 $1,479 3.7% 127.3% 53.2% 78.0%
Georgia $1,830 $2,406 $2,012 $2,257 $2,333 3.4% 16.0% -3.0% 27.5%
Hawaii $10 $66 $64 $110 $117 6.3% 82.6% 76.9% 1098.5%
Idaho $104 $123 $139 $396 $368 -7.1% 164.2% 200.1% 255.7%
Illinois $1,066 $676 $601 $958 $925 -3.4% 54.0% 36.8% -13.2%
Indiana $597 $870 $1,113 $1,152 $1,165 1.1% 4.6% 33.9% 95.1%
Iowa $52 $91 $92 $207 $213 2.7% 131.0% 132.8% 307.5%
Kansas $115 $99 $97 $124 $126 1.7% 29.7% 26.9% 9.1%
Kentucky $312 $1,088 $1,300 $1,572 $1,543 -1.9% 18.6% 41.8% 395.1%
Louisiana $847 $1,140 $2,114 $2,090 $2,156 3.2% 2.0% 89.2% 154.4%
Maine $430 $269 $556 $517 $545 5.4% -1.9% 102.9% 26.9%
Maryland $362 $322 $340 $342 $322 -5.9% -5.4% -0.1% -11.3%
Massachusetts $594 $325 $331 $386 $484 25.6% 46.2% 49.1% -18.4%
Michigan $705 $147 $18 $15 $72 393.9% 310.2% -51.0% -89.8%
Minnesota $714 $411 $656 $782 $770 -1.5% 17.4% 87.2% 7.9%
Mississippi $533 $234 $382 $380 $385 1.5% 0.8% 64.9% -27.8%
Missouri $299 $436 $659 $770 $831 8.0% 26.2% 90.7% 178.2%
Montana $135 $104 $71 $65 $75 15.0% 4.9% -27.7% -44.7%
Nebraska $52 $166 $188 $245 $262 7.1% 39.1% 58.3% 400.4%
Nevada $898 $990 $1,113 $1,197 $1,201 0.3% 7.9% 21.2% 33.7%
New Hampshire $36 $71 $42 $84 $93 10.2% 122.9% 30.2% 157.2%
New Jersey $885 $927 $1,042 $1,325 $1,199 -9.5% 15.0% 29.3% 35.4%
New Mexico $1,098 $324 $309 $265 $308 16.2% -0.2% -4.9% -71.9%
New York $1,018 $1,073 $1,285 $1,396 $1,231 -11.8% -4.2% 14.7% 20.9%
North Carolina $304 $570 $466 $409 $409 0.1% -12.2% -28.2% 34.6%
North Dakota $51 $322 $487 $547 $542 -0.8% 11.4% 68.6% 963.5%
Ohio $314 $206 $259 $316 $310 -1.7% 19.5% 50.8% -1.2%
Oklahoma $347 $832 $883 $908 $772 -15.0% -12.6% -7.2% 122.3%
Oregon $194 $104 $381 $586 $574 -2.0% 50.8% 454.2% 195.6%
Pennsylvania $848 $610 $727 $718 $748 4.2% 2.9% 22.7% -11.8%
Rhode Island $169 $239 $247 $337 $335 -0.6% 36.0% 40.1% 98.8%
South Carolina $508 $1,794 $1,757 $2,292 $2,195 -4.2% 25.0% 22.4% 332.5%
South Dakota $7 $171 $258 $342 $339 -1.1% 31.4% 97.9% 4636.3%
Tennessee $300 $2,012 $2,434 $2,814 $2,831 0.6% 16.3% 40.7% 843.7%
Texas $20 $364 $264 $307 $365 19.0% 38.3% 0.4% 1691.4%
Utah $89 $143 $143 $241 $253 4.9% 76.2% 76.2% 184.9%
Vermont $484 $388 $470 $425 $412 -2.9% -12.2% 6.2% -14.8%
Virginia $504 $552 $666 $919 $932 1.4% 40.0% 68.7% 84.9%
Washington $683 $911 $1,234 $1,440 $1,904 32.2% 54.3% 108.9% 178.7%
West Virginia $404 $1,222 $1,317 $1,378 $1,377 -0.1% 4.6% 12.7% 240.4%
Wisconsin $413 $564 $605 $595 $591 -0.7% -2.3% 4.8% 43.0%
Wyoming $1,037 $1,296 $1,477 $1,417 $1,783 25.8% 20.7% 37.6% 71.9%
D.C. N/A $1,925 $1,204 $994 $735 -26.0% -38.9% -61.8% N/A
U.S. $525 $682 $725 $847 $921 8.8% 27.0% 35.0% 75.6%
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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. In several states, financial aid may include unawarded funds that were reverted back to the state.
  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. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 are missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
  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 3.3A presents 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. 24 24Overall, 2.5% of state public financial aid was uncategorizable. Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., were able to classify all state public financial aid by sector and listed no uncategorizable aid. In seven states, more than 5% of aid could not be classified by sector: Ohio (6.7%), Michigan (8.6%), Washington (10.2%), Colorado (14.2%), Pennsylvania (20.9%), Rhode Island (33.6%), and Alabama (45.3%). VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES

At two-year institutions, state public financial aid increased 4.6% from 2020 to 2021 (a $22 increase per FTE), reaching $510 per FTE. Aid ranged from $7 in Arizona to $2,853 in Tennessee. Overall, in 2021, five states (Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Montana, and Ohio) awarded less than $100 in financial aid per FTE at two-year institutions, and six (Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia) awarded more than $1,000 per FTE.

Over the last year, aid to two-year institutions increased in 29 states. The largest increase was 3,623.3% in Michigan ($189 per FTE) due to two new financial aid programs, which received $30 million in state funds in fiscal year 2021. Of the 20 states with declines, the largest was 39.7% in Oklahoma ($306 per FTE). This decline was due to several factors, including a reduction in state-funded financial aid, an enrollment decline at two-year institutions, and a decline in enrollment under Oklahoma’s largest scholarship program (OK Promise).

State Spotlight : Michigan

MI

two-year, four-year, and uncategorizable state public financial aidHistorically, the largest proportion of Michigan’s state public financial aid funding has been concentrated in the four-year sector. In 2019 and 2020, 65.3% and 80.8% of all state public financial aid dollars went to the four-year sector, while only 8.5% (2019) and 10.6% (2020) flowed to two-year colleges. 25 25These percentages were calculated using the sum of two-year, four-year, and uncategorizable public financial aid. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES In 2021, there was a dramatic shift in sector-level financial aid allocation that led to a 3,623.3% increase in Michigan’s two-year sector state public financial aid: Michigan’s governor introduced two new financial aid programs (Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect), both of which provide free tuition and fees for eligible students enrolled in Michigan’s community colleges. As a result, two-year public aid in Michigan increased from $5 per FTE in 2020 to $195 per FTE in 2021.

The first program, Futures for Frontliners, was initially funded with $24 million in federal GEER funds (not included in state public financial aid reported in SHEF) but will be funded with state appropriations in fiscal year 2022. In 2021, a second program, called Michigan Reconnect, received $30 million in state funds and is projected to receive $55 million in state funds in fiscal year 2022. Both of these financial aid programs are funded through Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity budget.

At four-year institutions, state public financial aid increased 8.1% in the last year, or $86 per FTE, reaching $1,138 per FTE nationally. Aid ranged from $14 per FTE in Michigan to $2,826 in Georgia. Six states (Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, and New Hampshire) 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 2020 to 2021, four-year aid allocations increased in 21 states. The largest increase was 172.3% ($20 per FTE) in New Hampshire, which has a relatively small financial aid program. Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., had decreases in per-FTE financial aid this year. While New Mexico had the largest percentage decrease (32.1%, representing $80 per FTE), New Jersey had the largest real decline (18.9% or $330 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. While most states have greater financial aid in the four-year sector (76.2% higher, on national average), the four-year sector also has much higher tuition rates. Michigan had the largest disparity favoring its two-year sector (173.3% higher), while Ohio had the largest disparity favoring its four-year sector (170.5% higher).

Figure 3.3A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education State Financial Aid per FTE by State, FY 2021


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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. Sector-level state public financial aid excludes any financial aid that could not be categorized by sector. 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 was unable to provide sector-level breakouts for all financial aid programs. As a result, 49% of Alabama's 2021 state public financial aid is excluded from this table.
  4. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal year 2021 is missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
  5. Sector is determined at the institution level using the Carnegie Basic Classification (https://carnegieclassifications.acenet.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 2019-2021 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

Two-Year Financial Aid Four-Year Financial Aid
State 2019 2020 2021 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019 2019 2020 2021 Index to U.S. Average % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2019
Alabama $166 $161 $133 0.26 -17.7% -19.9% $519 $450 $366 0.32 -18.7% -29.5%
Alaska $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A $717 $706 $772 0.68 9.3% 7.7%
Arizona $6 $6 $7 0.01 15.5% 14.8% $62 $54 $54 0.05 0.1% -12.8%
Arkansas $283 $313 $429 0.84 37.0% 51.5% $1,354 $1,373 $1,408 1.24 2.6% 4.0%
California $244 $302 $318 0.62 5.5% 30.4% $1,150 $1,232 $1,906 1.68 54.7% 65.7%
Colorado $935 $960 $972 1.91 1.3% 4.0% $826 $915 $900 0.79 -1.7% 9.0%
Connecticut $319 $309 $362 0.71 17.0% 13.6% $280 $294 $289 0.25 -1.7% 3.0%
Delaware $100 $104 $100 0.20 -3.5% 0.2% $523 $520 $493 0.43 -5.3% -5.7%
Florida $487 $494 $504 0.99 2.0% 3.4% $2,339 $2,523 $2,531 2.22 0.3% 8.2%
Georgia $829 $898 $867 1.70 -3.5% 4.5% $2,665 $2,770 $2,826 2.48 2.0% 6.0%
Hawaii $142 $143 $164 0.32 14.6% 15.5% $95 $94 $93 0.08 -0.8% -1.8%
Idaho $209 $246 $197 0.39 -19.8% -5.7% $390 $433 $414 0.36 -4.4% 6.1%
Illinois $330 $400 $374 0.73 -6.3% 13.4% $1,240 $1,364 $1,338 1.18 -1.9% 7.9%
Indiana $662 $666 $808 1.58 21.4% 22.1% $1,458 $1,388 $1,351 1.19 -2.7% -7.3%
Iowa $111 $391 $407 0.80 4.1% 267.2% $57 $59 $62 0.05 5.4% 8.9%
Kansas $21 $22 $24 0.05 11.4% 13.6% $195 $194 $193 0.17 -0.7% -1.1%
Kentucky $1,565 $1,782 $1,720 3.37 -3.5% 9.9% $1,425 $1,514 $1,504 1.32 -0.7% 5.5%
Louisiana $444 $463 $509 1.00 9.8% 14.5% $2,674 $2,656 $2,661 2.34 0.2% -0.5%
Maine $727 $631 $701 1.37 11.0% -3.7% $440 $414 $431 0.38 4.1% -2.1%
Maryland $78 $119 $145 0.28 21.7% 85.7% $425 $471 $412 0.36 -12.5% -3.1%
Massachusetts $384 $340 $503 0.99 47.7% 30.9% $361 $392 $464 0.41 18.3% 28.4%
Michigan $6 $5 $195 0.38 3623.3% 2967.8% $23 $17 $14 0.01 -20.1% -38.5%
Minnesota $525 $527 $532 1.04 0.9% 1.2% $952 $941 $913 0.80 -2.9% -4.1%
Mississippi $132 $157 $153 0.30 -2.5% 16.1% $545 $578 $578 0.51 -0.1% 6.0%
Missouri $872 $1,081 $1,355 2.66 25.4% 55.5% $574 $605 $574 0.50 -5.2% -0.1%
Montana $24 $49 $60 0.12 23.1% 148.8% $50 $75 $85 0.07 13.7% 70.8%
Nebraska $211 $222 $195 0.38 -12.2% -7.7% $240 $263 $300 0.26 14.2% 25.2%
Nevada $544 $541 $563 1.10 4.1% 3.5% $1,787 $1,760 $1,727 1.52 -1.9% -3.4%
New Hampshire $316 $314 $306 0.60 -2.8% -3.4% $4 $12 $32 0.03 172.3% 650.2%
New Jersey $518 $561 $730 1.43 30.0% 40.8% $1,673 $1,747 $1,417 1.25 -18.9% -15.3%
New Mexico $271 $254 $455 0.89 79.0% 67.9% $278 $249 $169 0.15 -32.1% -39.3%
New York $1,106 $1,003 $777 1.53 -22.5% -29.7% $1,559 $1,573 $1,423 1.25 -9.5% -8.7%
North Carolina $105 $99 $103 0.20 4.1% -1.7% $676 $658 $637 0.56 -3.2% -5.8%
North Dakota $435 $544 $551 1.08 1.3% 26.7% $470 $525 $518 0.46 -1.4% 10.1%
Ohio $36 $37 $32 0.06 -13.2% -10.9% $338 $404 $401 0.35 -0.6% 18.7%
Oklahoma $654 $770 $464 0.91 -39.7% -29.1% $1,068 $997 $934 0.82 -6.3% -12.5%
Oregon $711 $804 $754 1.48 -6.2% 6.1% $440 $452 $475 0.42 5.1% 8.0%
Pennsylvania $335 $353 $351 0.69 -0.7% 4.6% $607 $677 $695 0.61 2.6% 14.5%
Rhode Island $302 $288 $299 0.59 4.1% -0.7% $180 $179 $174 0.15 -2.5% -2.8%
South Carolina $2,280 $2,530 $2,261 4.44 -10.6% -0.8% $2,226 $2,249 $2,262 1.99 0.6% 1.6%
South Dakota $192 $221 $216 0.42 -2.5% 12.4% $339 $353 $350 0.31 -0.9% 3.3%
Tennessee $2,977 $2,963 $2,853 5.60 -3.7% -4.2% $2,475 $2,614 $2,718 2.39 4.0% 9.8%
Texas $190 $203 $372 0.73 83.4% 95.4% $378 $393 $361 0.32 -8.3% -4.7%
Utah $81 $95 $120 0.24 27.1% 48.7% $264 $279 $287 0.25 2.8% 8.8%
Vermont $848 $743 $713 1.40 -4.0% -15.9% $379 $369 $358 0.31 -2.9% -5.4%
Virginia $593 $698 $678 1.33 -2.8% 14.4% $987 $1,054 $1,080 0.95 2.5% 9.4%
Washington $760 $896 $1,124 2.20 25.5% 48.0% $1,715 $1,946 $2,178 1.91 11.9% 27.0%
West Virginia $1,012 $1,358 $1,584 3.11 16.6% 56.5% $1,497 $1,487 $1,444 1.27 -2.9% -3.6%
Wisconsin $498 $408 $415 0.81 1.5% -16.7% $679 $695 $679 0.60 -2.3% 0.1%
Wyoming $645 $644 $563 1.10 -12.7% -12.8% $2,064 $1,964 $2,770 2.43 41.0% 34.2%
D.C. $0 $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A $1,138 $954 $705 0.62 -26.0% -38.0%
U.S. $451 $487 $510 1.00 4.6% 13.0% $1,006 $1,052 $1,138 1.00 8.1% 13.0%
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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. Sector-level state public financial aid excludes any financial aid that could not be categorized by sector.
  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 recently required components of the SHEF data collection 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. Alabama was unable to provide sector-level breakouts for all programs. As a result, 49% of Alabama's 2021 state public financial aid is excluded from this table.
  6. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 are missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
  7. 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 percentage of education appropriations by state and sector. i i State public financial aid as a percentage of education appropriations State public financial aid as percentage of education appropriations is any state appropriated student financial aid for public institutions (excluding loans and aid for students attending medical schools) as a proportion of total state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses. This measure excludes RAM.   VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS

The percentage of education appropriations allocated to state financial aid has increased over time. In 2001, 5.1% of education appropriations were directed toward student financial aid; by 2021, this proportion had increased to 9.9% (a growth of 4.8 percentage points).

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, Arizona has a very small aid program that comprises only 0.6% of its total education appropriations. On the high end, the financial aid allocation accounts for 34.7% of Louisiana’s total funding for public higher education (Figure 3.4).

Financial aid as a percentage of education appropriations has increased in 39 states since 2001, when financial aid data were first collected. This proportion increased by more than 10 percentage points in eight states. The largest increases were in Louisiana (24.5 percentage points), South Carolina (22.7), and Tennessee (21.7). Of the 11 states with declines in the proportion of education appropriations allocated to financial aid, only two states had declines greater than 5 percentage points: Vermont (6.1 percentage points) and New Mexico (7.9).

Table 3.4

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by State, FY 2001-2021

State 2001 2006 2011 2016 2020 2021 Change Since 2020 Change Since 2016 Chance Since 2011 Change Since 2006 Chance Since 2001
Alabama 1.8% 2.0% 3.9% 6.0% 6.4% 6.9% 0.5 0.9 3.0 4.8 5.1
Alaska 0.0% 0.2% 0.4% 4.5% 4.4% 4.5% 0.2 0.1 4.1 4.4 4.5
Arizona 0.3% 0.3% 0.7% 0.8% 0.6% 0.6% 0.0 -0.1 -0.1 0.3 0.3
Arkansas 6.7% 4.6% 16.7% 13.7% 12.9% 13.2% 0.4 -0.5 -3.5 8.6 6.5
California 3.9% 5.6% 9.3% 8.9% 8.0% 11.0% 3.0 2.1 1.7 5.4 7.1
Colorado 10.3% 12.0% 13.8% 17.7% 20.3% 18.8% -1.5 1.1 5.0 6.8 8.5
Connecticut 3.1% 2.4% 3.3% 3.2% 3.0% 2.7% -0.3 -0.5 -0.6 0.3 -0.4
Delaware 5.1% 5.0% 7.0% 6.4% 5.9% 5.3% -0.6 -1.1 -1.7 0.3 0.2
Florida 8.1% 11.1% 14.1% 9.3% 17.6% 17.8% 0.2 8.4 3.7 6.6 9.7
Georgia 12.6% 17.3% 26.4% 21.3% 21.6% 23.7% 2.1 2.4 -2.7 6.4 11.1
Hawaii 0.1% 0.1% 0.7% 0.6% 0.8% 0.8% 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.8 0.7
Idaho 0.8% 1.9% 1.4% 1.5% 3.9% 3.5% -0.4 2.0 2.0 1.5 2.7
Illinois 7.4% 7.4% 5.1% 4.3% 5.2% 4.9% -0.3 0.6 -0.2 -2.5 -2.5
Indiana 6.4% 8.6% 14.3% 16.4% 17.5% 18.2% 0.6 1.8 3.9 9.5 11.8
Iowa 0.5% 1.2% 1.5% 1.5% 3.5% 3.5% 0.0 2.0 2.0 2.3 3.0
Kansas 1.1% 1.2% 1.4% 1.4% 1.6% 1.5% -0.2 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.4
Kentucky 2.5% 12.5% 12.5% 16.1% 20.2% 19.4% -0.7 3.3 6.9 6.9 17.0
Louisiana 10.3% 11.4% 12.3% 34.2% 33.4% 34.7% 1.4 0.5 22.4 23.3 24.5
Maine 4.2% 3.8% 3.6% 7.2% 6.3% 6.3% -0.1 -0.9 2.6 2.4 2.1
Maryland 3.7% 6.9% 4.6% 4.4% 3.8% 3.6% -0.2 -0.9 -1.1 -3.3 -0.2
Massachusetts 5.5% 4.0% 4.8% 4.4% 4.4% 5.0% 0.6 0.7 0.2 1.0 -0.4
Michigan 5.7% 6.9% 2.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.9% 0.7 0.6 -1.3 -6.0 -4.9
Minnesota 6.6% 6.3% 6.1% 8.6% 8.8% 6.5% -2.2 -2.0 0.5 0.3 -0.1
Mississippi 5.0% 4.4% 3.0% 4.8% 5.6% 4.7% -0.8 -0.1 1.7 0.3 -0.3
Missouri 2.3% 2.2% 5.5% 8.4% 8.6% 8.7% 0.1 0.4 3.3 6.5 6.4
Montana 2.3% 2.5% 1.9% 1.2% 1.0% 1.0% -0.1 -0.2 -1.0 -1.5 -1.3
Nebraska 0.6% 1.2% 1.8% 1.8% 2.3% 2.4% 0.1 0.6 0.6 1.2 1.8
Nevada 9.8% 13.3% 11.7% 15.4% 15.0% 18.5% 3.5 3.1 6.8 5.2 8.7
New Hampshire 0.7% 2.0% 2.3% 1.5% 2.5% 2.1% -0.4 0.7 -0.2 0.2 1.4
New Jersey 8.2% 8.4% 11.6% 13.4% 15.2% 15.5% 0.2 2.0 3.9 7.1 7.3
New Mexico 10.0% 8.1% 3.4% 2.7% 1.8% 2.0% 0.2 -0.7 -1.3 -6.1 -7.9
New York 9.6% 11.8% 10.2% 11.5% 11.3% 9.9% -1.4 -1.6 -0.3 -1.9 0.3
North Carolina 2.3% 2.9% 5.5% 4.3% 3.8% 3.7% -0.1 -0.6 -1.8 0.8 1.4
North Dakota 0.7% 0.9% 4.0% 5.1% 6.1% 5.9% -0.1 0.9 1.9 5.1 5.3
Ohio 3.1% 5.3% 3.3% 3.8% 4.8% 4.1% -0.7 0.3 0.8 -1.2 1.0
Oklahoma 3.4% 7.6% 9.4% 12.1% 14.5% 13.2% -1.3 1.1 3.8 5.6 9.9
Oregon 2.5% 5.6% 2.2% 7.2% 8.7% 7.8% -1.0 0.6 5.6 2.2 5.3
Pennsylvania 8.6% 10.8% 10.6% 15.7% 12.6% 12.3% -0.3 -3.4 1.7 1.5 3.6
Rhode Island 1.9% 3.5% 4.7% 4.5% 6.5% 5.5% -1.0 0.9 0.8 1.9 3.6
South Carolina 6.1% 23.5% 31.8% 29.7% 34.3% 28.8% -5.5 -1.0 -3.0 5.3 22.7
South Dakota 0.1% 0.9% 2.6% 4.1% 4.3% 4.4% 0.1 0.3 1.8 3.5 4.3
Tennessee 3.1% 12.2% 21.1% 26.1% 24.9% 24.8% -0.1 -1.3 3.7 12.6 21.7
Texas 0.2% 1.0% 4.2% 3.0% 3.7% 4.0% 0.3 1.0 -0.2 3.1 3.8
Utah 1.0% 1.1% 2.2% 1.8% 2.7% 2.9% 0.2 1.1 0.7 1.8 1.9
Vermont 11.7% 13.7% 11.8% 16.0% 11.4% 5.6% -5.9 -10.4 -6.2 -8.1 -6.1
Virginia 5.3% 7.0% 8.7% 11.7% 12.6% 12.9% 0.3 1.2 4.2 6.0 7.6
Washington 8.0% 11.1% 14.3% 17.4% 16.6% 18.5% 1.9 1.1 4.2 7.4 10.5
West Virginia 5.4% 20.3% 19.9% 24.7% 22.5% 21.8% -0.6 -2.9 1.9 1.6 16.5
Wisconsin 3.6% 5.5% 6.3% 7.7% 7.1% 6.5% -0.6 -1.2 0.2 1.0 2.9
Wyoming 7.9% 4.4% 6.9% 7.0% 7.2% 6.8% -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 2.3 -1.2
D.C. N/A N/A 11.2% 8.1% 4.2% 2.1% -2.1 -6.0 -9.1 N/A N/A
U.S. 5.1% 6.9% 8.6% 8.9% 9.5% 9.9% 0.4 1.0 1.3 2.9 4.8
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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. In several states, financial aid includes unawarded funds that were reverted back to the state.
  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.
  6. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 are missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Figure 3.4

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by State, FY 2021 (Adjusted)


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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. In several states, financial aid may include unawarded funds that were reverted back to the state.
  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. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal year 2021 is missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
  4. Constant 2021 dollars adjusted by the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).
  5. 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.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

2. Sector Comparisons

The percentage of education appropriations allocated to financial aid differs for two- and four-year institutions (Table 3.4A). In fiscal year 2021, 5.5% of funding at two-year institutions went to financial aid, compared to 12.8% at four-year institutions.

  • The financial aid allocation at two-year institutions ranged from 0.1% in Arizona to 29.2% in South Carolina. Five states (Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Montana, and Ohio) had a two-year financial aid allocation of less than 1%.
  • At four-year institutions, Michigan had the lowest financial aid allocation (0.2%), and Louisiana had the highest (43.9%). Four states (Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and New Hampshire) had a four-year financial aid allocation of less than 1%.

Figure 3.4A shows the difference in the financial aid allocation as a percentage of sector-level education appropriations between two- and four-year institutions. In states on the figure’s left side (the light blue bars), the financial aid allocation as a percentage of two-year education appropriations is highest in the two-year sector. Most states are on the right side of Figure 3.4A (the dark blue bars), indicating that in a majority of states, the mix of funding for four-year institutions leans more toward student aid than at two-year institutions.

Figure 3.4A

Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by State, FY 2021


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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. Sector-level state public financial aid excludes any financial aid that could not be categorized by sector. 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. 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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude state agency funding.
  3. Percentage point differences show the number of percentage points by which the student share is higher at either two- or four-year institutions, not the percent difference between the two.
  4. Alaska and the District of Columbia are excluded from this figure because they do not have any public two-year institutions.
  5. Alabama was unable to provide sector-level breakouts for all financial aid programs. As a result, 49% of Alabama's 2021 state public financial aid is excluded from this table.
  6. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal year 2021 is missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
Table 3.4A

Public Higher Education State Financial Aid as a Percent of Education Appropriations by Sector and State, FY 2019-2021

Two-Year Financial Aid Share Four-Year Financial Aid Share
State 2019 2020 2021 Index to U.S. Average Change Since 2020 Change Since 2019 2019 2020 2021 Index to U.S. Average Change Since 2020 Change Since 2019
Alabama 2.2% 1.7% 1.5% 0.27 -0.2 -0.7 7.2% 6.1% 5.0% 0.39 -1.1 -2.2
Alaska N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 4.5% 4.4% 4.5% 0.35 0.2 0.0
Arizona 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.01 0.0 0.0 1.7% 1.5% 1.4% 0.11 -0.1 -0.3
Arkansas 3.5% 3.7% 4.7% 0.86 1.0 1.2 16.6% 16.6% 16.6% 1.29 -0.1 0.0
California 2.8% 3.5% 3.3% 0.60 -0.2 0.5 13.1% 13.1% 22.3% 1.74 9.2 9.2
Colorado 15.2% 15.5% 14.9% 2.73 -0.7 -0.3 19.5% 19.8% 17.9% 1.40 -1.8 -1.6
Connecticut 3.5% 3.3% 3.0% 0.56 -0.3 -0.5 2.8% 2.9% 2.6% 0.21 -0.2 -0.2
Delaware 1.1% 1.0% 1.0% 0.18 -0.1 -0.1 9.2% 8.2% 7.3% 0.57 -0.9 -1.9
Florida 10.0% 10.0% 9.6% 1.77 -0.4 -0.4 19.4% 20.9% 21.4% 1.67 0.5 2.0
Georgia 11.7% 12.6% 11.7% 2.15 -0.8 0.1 25.5% 25.8% 28.5% 2.22 2.8 3.1
Hawaii 1.3% 1.3% 1.4% 0.26 0.1 0.1 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.05 0.0 0.0
Idaho 3.7% 4.1% 3.2% 0.58 -1.0 -0.5 4.1% 4.7% 4.4% 0.34 -0.3 0.3
Illinois 2.6% 2.9% 2.7% 0.50 -0.2 0.1 6.2% 6.6% 6.3% 0.49 -0.3 0.0
Indiana 11.1% 11.2% 13.5% 2.47 2.3 2.4 20.4% 20.0% 20.8% 1.62 0.8 0.5
Iowa 2.3% 7.5% 7.3% 1.33 -0.2 4.9 0.9% 0.8% 0.9% 0.07 0.0 0.0
Kansas 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.04 0.0 0.0 3.2% 3.0% 2.6% 0.20 -0.4 -0.6
Kentucky 25.0% 27.9% 25.6% 4.70 -2.2 0.7 17.4% 18.2% 18.0% 1.40 -0.1 0.6
Louisiana 11.8% 12.3% 12.8% 2.35 0.6 1.0 41.1% 42.0% 43.9% 3.42 1.9 2.8
Maine 9.7% 8.5% 8.3% 1.53 -0.2 -1.3 5.7% 5.2% 5.2% 0.41 0.0 -0.5
Maryland 1.0% 1.4% 1.6% 0.29 0.2 0.6 5.2% 5.3% 4.7% 0.37 -0.5 -0.5
Massachusetts 5.6% 4.6% 6.0% 1.10 1.4 0.4 4.3% 4.5% 4.8% 0.37 0.3 0.5
Michigan 0.1% 0.0% 1.6% 0.30 1.6 1.6 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.02 -0.1 -0.1
Minnesota 7.8% 7.0% 5.1% 0.93 -1.9 -2.7 11.7% 11.0% 9.6% 0.75 -1.4 -2.2
Mississippi 2.1% 2.4% 1.7% 0.31 -0.7 -0.4 8.1% 8.2% 7.6% 0.59 -0.5 -0.4
Missouri 12.6% 12.5% 14.1% 2.58 1.5 1.4 7.6% 7.0% 6.3% 0.49 -0.7 -1.3
Montana 0.4% 0.8% 0.8% 0.15 0.0 0.4 0.8% 1.1% 1.0% 0.08 -0.1 0.2
Nebraska 1.8% 1.7% 1.4% 0.26 -0.3 -0.4 2.5% 2.6% 3.0% 0.23 0.3 0.5
Nevada 8.8% 9.2% 11.2% 2.06 2.0 2.4 19.7% 19.0% 22.2% 1.73 3.2 2.5
New Hampshire 6.8% 5.2% 4.5% 0.83 -0.7 -2.3 0.2% 0.4% 0.8% 0.06 0.4 0.6
New Jersey 12.7% 12.2% 16.3% 2.99 4.1 3.6 16.2% 16.0% 15.3% 1.19 -0.7 -0.9
New Mexico 2.6% 2.1% 3.2% 0.58 1.1 0.6 1.9% 1.5% 1.1% 0.09 -0.4 -0.8
New York 12.3% 11.1% 7.8% 1.43 -3.3 -4.5 11.4% 11.5% 10.9% 0.85 -0.6 -0.5
North Carolina 1.3% 1.2% 1.2% 0.22 0.0 -0.1 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 0.41 0.0 -0.1
North Dakota 6.0% 6.9% 6.9% 1.26 0.0 0.9 6.3% 6.7% 6.6% 0.51 -0.1 0.3
Ohio 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.08 -0.1 0.0 5.4% 6.4% 5.3% 0.41 -1.2 -0.1
Oklahoma 11.2% 11.5% 7.9% 1.45 -3.6 -3.3 17.0% 16.0% 15.6% 1.21 -0.4 -1.4
Oregon 9.0% 8.8% 7.5% 1.38 -1.3 -1.5 9.5% 8.9% 8.5% 0.66 -0.4 -1.0
Pennsylvania 6.0% 6.0% 5.4% 0.98 -0.7 -0.7 11.9% 13.1% 13.0% 1.01 -0.1 1.1
Rhode Island 6.1% 6.6% 5.4% 1.00 -1.2 -0.7 3.6% 3.6% 3.1% 0.24 -0.5 -0.5
South Carolina 32.4% 33.5% 29.2% 5.36 -4.2 -3.1 38.4% 35.9% 29.5% 2.30 -6.4 -8.9
South Dakota 3.8% 3.7% 3.3% 0.61 -0.4 -0.5 5.4% 5.0% 5.2% 0.40 0.2 -0.3
Tennessee 32.6% 32.0% 28.8% 5.27 -3.2 -3.8 23.6% 23.6% 24.4% 1.90 0.9 0.9
Texas 2.6% 2.6% 4.2% 0.76 1.5 1.6 4.7% 5.3% 4.3% 0.34 -1.0 -0.4
Utah 0.9% 0.9% 1.2% 0.22 0.3 0.4 3.3% 3.2% 3.4% 0.27 0.2 0.2
Vermont 31.2% 25.2% 13.9% 2.54 -11.3 -17.4 13.5% 10.3% 5.8% 0.45 -4.4 -7.6
Virginia 11.9% 12.7% 12.0% 2.21 -0.7 0.1 15.0% 13.3% 14.3% 1.11 1.0 -0.7
Washington 11.4% 11.6% 11.5% 2.11 -0.1 0.1 20.5% 21.5% 22.6% 1.76 1.1 2.1
West Virginia 14.2% 17.0% 17.3% 3.17 0.3 3.1 28.2% 25.1% 23.9% 1.86 -1.2 -4.3
Wisconsin 4.1% 3.0% 2.9% 0.53 -0.2 -1.2 12.0% 12.6% 10.9% 0.85 -1.7 -1.1
Wyoming 3.8% 3.9% 3.0% 0.55 -0.9 -0.8 10.8% 10.1% 9.7% 0.75 -0.4 -1.1
D.C. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6.2% 4.3% 2.5% 0.19 -1.8 -3.7
U.S. 5.5% 5.8% 5.5% 1.00 -0.3 -0.1 11.8% 11.9% 12.8% 1.00 0.9 1.1
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, it includes aid for both tuition costs and living expenses. Sector-level state public financial aid excludes any financial aid that could not be categorized by sector.
  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 include any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector, but exclude state agency 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 recently required components of the SHEF data collection 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.
  7. Alabama was unable to provide sector-level breakouts for all programs. As a result, 49% of Alabama's 2021 state public financial aid is excluded from this table
  8. New Mexico was unable to provide complete financial aid data. Financial aid for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 are missing non-reverting and lottery funds.
Source(s):
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Net Tuition Revenue

Map 4.1

Net Tuition Revenue per FTE, FY 2021

Inflation-adjusted net tuition and fee revenue i i Net tuition and fee revenue Net tuition and fee 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 has increased substantially over time. In 1980 (the start of the SHEF dataset), public institutions averaged $2,396 in net tuition revenue per FTE. Since that time, tuition revenue per FTE has increased 180.5%, and there have been only five years with a decline in net tuition revenue (2000, 2001, 2019, 2020, 2021). Overall, the average annual change in tuition and fee revenue is a 2.6% increase above inflation. These increases are primarily due to increases in tuition and fee rates and an increasing proportion of out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment. 

Recently, this trend has shifted; tuition and fee revenue has declined for the last three years. Public institutions received $6,723 in net tuition revenue from in-state and out-of-state students in 2021, down 3.2% from 2020 and 4.7% over the last five years. Declines in net tuition revenue are largely due to increases in state financial aid and minimal tuition rate growth.

1. State Comparisons

Net tuition revenue per FTE ranged widely across the states due to differences in the mix of students paying different tuition rates, the level of state support and availability of state public financial aid, and whether institutions can freely raise their tuition rates (Figure 4.1). On the low end, net tuition revenue was less than $3,000 per FTE in California, Florida, and Nevada. On the high end, net tuition revenue is over $15,000 in Delaware and Vermont. Seven states had net tuition revenue averages below $5,000 per FTE, and 11 states were above $10,000 per FTE.

  • Table 4.1 shows that net tuition revenue per FTE declined in 36 states between 2020 and 2021. Five states saw declines greater than 10% (California, Connecticut, Delaware, New Mexico, and Wyoming). Increases in financial aid account for most of the declines seen in California and Wyoming.
  • Of the 14 states and Washington, D.C., with net tuition revenue increases in the last year, only three had increases higher than 5% (Arizona, North Dakota, and Rhode Island). 

In the last five years (since 2016), net tuition and fee revenue has declined in 26 states and Washington, D.C. Despite these recent declines, since 1980 net tuition revenue per FTE has increased in every state and has increased by more than 100% in 44 states. The smallest increase was 25.0% in Nevada; the largest increases, both more than 400%, were in Alabama and Hawaii. 

Figure 4.1

Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by State, FY 2021 (Adjusted)


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.
  3. Fiscal year 2021 includes estimated net tuition revenue for Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  4. Constant 2021 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 4.1

Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by State, FY 1980-2021 (Constant Adjusted Dollars)

State 1980 2001 2011 2016 2020 2021 % Change Since 2020 % Change Since 2016 % Change Since 2011 % Change Since 2001 % Change Since 1980
Alabama $2,602 $6,211 $9,797 $13,624 $13,633 $13,685 0.4% 0.4% 39.7% 120.3% 425.8%
Alaska $2,384 $3,172 $4,635 $4,776 $5,091 $5,128 0.7% 7.4% 10.7% 61.7% 115.2%
Arizona $2,158 $4,250 $6,092 $8,784 $8,580 $9,102 6.1% 3.6% 49.4% 114.2% 321.8%
Arkansas $2,913 $3,442 $4,702 $6,650 $7,208 $7,129 -1.1% 7.2% 51.6% 107.1% 144.7%
California $699 $1,068 $1,683 $2,729 $2,963 $2,533 -14.5% -7.2% 50.5% 137.1% 262.4%
Colorado $3,144 $4,688 $7,764 $9,807 $10,396 $10,310 -0.8% 5.1% 32.8% 119.9% 227.9%
Connecticut $2,199 $5,382 $6,579 $10,712 $11,826 $10,273 -13.1% -4.1% 56.2% 90.9% 367.1%
Delaware $4,655 $10,323 $14,212 $16,783 $18,663 $16,517 -11.5% -1.6% 16.2% 60.0% 254.8%
Florida $1,701 $3,131 $2,998 $3,658 $2,428 $2,301 -5.2% -37.1% -23.2% -26.5% 35.3%
Georgia $2,093 $2,572 $3,244 $5,740 $5,257 $4,983 -5.2% -13.2% 53.6% 93.8% 138.0%
Hawaii $854 $2,229 $4,064 $4,691 $4,447 $4,381 -1.5% -6.6% 7.8% 96.6% 412.9%
Idaho $2,137 $4,135 $5,277 $8,476 $8,193 $8,457 3.2% -0.2% 60.3% 104.5% 295.7%
Illinois $1,865 $3,299 $6,575 $8,566 $8,397 $8,002 -4.7% -6.6% 21.7% 142.6% 329.2%
Indiana $3,601 $6,631 $8,433 $10,450 $10,346 $10,391 0.4% -0.6% 23.2% 56.7% 188.5%
Iowa $3,279 $6,011 $8,888 $9,777 $10,150 $10,129 -0.2% 3.6% 14.0% 68.5% 208.9%
Kansas $2,886 $4,332 $6,379 $7,345 $7,358 $7,234 -1.7% -1.5% 13.4% 67.0% 150.7%
Kentucky $2,707 $5,363 $8,985 $9,729 $9,649 $9,312 -3.5% -4.3% 3.6% 73.6% 244.0%
Louisiana $2,122 $2,948 $3,387 $5,020 $5,450 $5,588 2.5% 11.3% 65.0% 89.6% 163.4%
Maine $3,308 $6,111 $7,804 $7,056 $7,142 $7,098 -0.6% 0.6% -9.0% 16.2% 114.6%
Maryland $2,598 $5,761 $7,133 $7,528 $7,857 $7,801 -0.7% 3.6% 9.4% 35.4% 200.3%
Massachusetts $2,386 $4,445 $6,280 $5,748 $5,856 $5,646 -3.6% -1.8% -10.1% 27.0% 136.6%
Michigan $4,224 $7,441 $11,472 $14,251 $15,287 $14,922 -2.4% 4.7% 30.1% 100.5% 253.3%
Minnesota $2,395 $4,536 $9,332 $9,816 $9,969 $9,931 -0.4% 1.2% 6.4% 119.0% 314.7%
Mississippi $3,021 $4,146 $5,764 $7,494 $7,901 $7,994 1.2% 6.7% 38.7% 92.8% 164.6%
Missouri $3,028 $4,877 $6,888 $7,537 $7,704 $7,528 -2.3% -0.1% 9.3% 54.4% 148.6%
Montana $1,988 $4,395 $5,953 $6,706 $6,959 $6,948 -0.2% 3.6% 16.7% 58.1% 249.5%
Nebraska $2,487 $4,216 $5,704 $6,766 $7,082 $7,027 -0.8% 3.9% 23.2% 66.7% 182.6%
Nevada $2,044 $2,634 $3,292 $3,703 $2,436 $2,554 4.8% -31.0% -22.4% -3.0% 25.0%
New Hampshire $5,444 $9,557 $9,103 $10,300 $9,628 $9,467 -1.7% -8.1% 4.0% -0.9% 73.9%
New Jersey $1,985 $6,806 $8,393 $10,051 $7,312 $7,369 0.8% -26.7% -12.2% 8.3% 271.2%
New Mexico $2,090 $1,378 $3,606 $3,563 $4,156 $3,685 -11.3% 3.4% 2.2% 167.5% 76.3%
New York $2,737 $4,470 $5,064 $6,448 $6,091 $5,763 -5.4% -10.6% 13.8% 28.9% 110.6%
North Carolina $2,055 $3,153 $3,678 $5,653 $5,195 $5,096 -1.9% -9.9% 38.6% 61.6% 148.0%
North Dakota $2,551 $5,033 $7,840 $8,894 $9,614 $10,562 9.9% 18.8% 34.7% 109.8% 314.1%
Ohio $4,099 $6,971 $8,223 $10,024 $9,954 $9,652 -3.0% -3.7% 17.4% 38.5% 135.5%
Oklahoma $2,088 $2,805 $4,855 $6,819 $8,443 $8,129 -3.7% 19.2% 67.5% 189.8% 289.2%
Oregon $2,385 $4,378 $6,102 $7,963 $8,538 $8,636 1.2% 8.5% 41.5% 97.3% 262.1%
Pennsylvania $4,631 $9,345 $11,454 $11,260 $11,116 $10,850 -2.4% -3.6% -5.3% 16.1% 134.3%
Rhode Island $3,182 $7,106 $8,110 $8,611 $8,495 $9,087 7.0% 5.5% 12.0% 27.9% 185.6%
South Carolina $2,315 $4,863 $8,250 $10,137 $10,754 $10,697 -0.5% 5.5% 29.6% 120.0% 362.0%
South Dakota $3,565 $6,650 $7,934 $8,672 $9,151 $8,710 -4.8% 0.4% 9.8% 31.0% 144.3%
Tennessee $2,683 $4,884 $6,080 $7,811 $7,178 $7,021 -2.2% -10.1% 15.5% 43.8% 161.7%
Texas $1,920 $5,030 $5,188 $5,871 $5,620 $5,567 -0.9% -5.2% 7.3% 10.7% 190.0%
Utah $2,501 $3,163 $5,336 $6,602 $6,698 $6,039 -9.8% -8.5% 13.2% 90.9% 141.5%
Vermont $7,476 $13,297 $14,204 $16,468 $16,071 $15,436 -4.0% -6.3% 8.7% 16.1% 106.5%
Virginia $2,427 $4,541 $7,155 $8,483 $8,844 $8,866 0.2% 4.5% 23.9% 95.2% 265.3%
Washington $2,274 $2,641 $4,358 $5,963 $5,936 $5,460 -8.0% -8.4% 25.3% 106.7% 140.1%
West Virginia $1,849 $4,317 $6,243 $8,094 $7,692 $7,577 -1.5% -6.4% 21.4% 75.5% 309.8%
Wisconsin $3,682 $4,025 $5,533 $6,821 $7,033 $7,250 3.1% 6.3% 31.0% 80.1% 96.9%
Wyoming $2,612 $3,616 $2,432 $3,060 $3,852 $3,287 -14.7% 7.4% 35.2% -9.1% 25.9%
D.C. N/A N/A $6,479 $6,099 $4,927 $5,005 1.6% -17.9% -22.8% N/A N/A
U.S. $2,396 $4,223 $5,747 $7,057 $6,946 $6,723 -3.2% -4.7% 17.0% 59.2% 180.5%
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. Fiscal years 2020 and 2021 include estimated net tuition revenue for New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Fiscal year 2021 includes estimated net tuition revenue for Illinois.
  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 $2,604 per FTE in 2021, down 1.7% ($44 per FTE) from 2020 and 5.4% ($147 per FTE) from 2019. This year, two-year net tuition ranged from a low of $266 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 Connecticut and Michigan.

In the last year, per-FTE tuition revenue declined at two-year institutions in 31 states. Delaware had the largest two-year tuition decline (11.6%). Of the 18 states with increases, the largest was 19.4% in Arizona. The only other increase above 10% was South Carolina (13.1%).

At four-year institutions, tuition revenue averaged $9,295 per FTE, 3.6 times the average tuition in the two-year sector. Only five states and Washington, D.C., averaged less than $5,000 in four-year net tuition revenue per FTE: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Florida had the lowest four-year tuition ($2,148 per FTE). On the other hand, four states had net tuition revenue greater than $15,000 per FTE: Alabama, Delaware, Michigan, and Vermont. Delaware had the highest four-year net tuition revenue ($22,443 per FTE).

From 2020 to 2021, four-year net tuition revenue decreased in 40 states. Seven states had declines greater than 10% (California, Connecticut, Delaware, New Mexico, New York, Utah, and Wyoming). The largest percentage decline was 24.0% in Wyoming, but the largest per-FTE declines were in Connecticut ($2,666) and Delaware ($2,998). In Wyoming, the decline was almost entirely explained by increases in financial aid. In Utah, the decline was due to an increase in institutional aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in both Connecticut and Delaware, the declines were due to decreases in gross tuition and fee revenue (rather than increases in state or institutional aid). 

Figure 4.1A displays the disparity in net tuition revenue per FTE between each state’s  two- and four-year public sectors. On average, four-year institutions receive 112.4% more tuition and fee revenue than two-year institutions. Only Florida is on the figure’s left side (the light blue bar), with 20.8% 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, with 180.8% higher net tuition and fee revenue in the four-year sector.

Figure 4.1A

Percent Difference in Two-Year and Four-Year Public Higher Education Net Tuition Revenue per FTE by State, FY 2021


Notes:
  1. Net tuition revenue is calculated by t