Higher education is the largest general fund budget category in . 1 https://www.nasbo.org/reports-data/state-expenditure-report National Association of State Budget Officers. (2021). State expenditure report: Fiscal years 2019-2021. NASBO. VIEW ALL FOOTNOTES State and local government funding for higher education totaled in fiscal year . In addition, public institutions in received in tuition revenue. These two revenue sources serve total FTE students at public institutions.
State and Local Funding
State tax appropriations and local tax support plus additional non-tax funds that support all of higher education.
Total Tuition Revenue
Gross tuition plus mandatory “education and general” fees from public institutions, including all student financial aid.
Total FTE Enrollment
Gross full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment calculated from the aggregate number of enrolled credit hours.
How has Student Enrollment Changed Over Time?
has the net FTE enrollment 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 in the United States. In recent years, enrollment has declined both nationally and in most states. In the last year, net full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment, which excludes medical students, in . Until recently, changes in enrollment were often counter-cyclical to economic downturns. In , net FTE enrollment from 2008 through 2012 due to the Great Recession. Following the Great Recession, enrollment from 2012 to 2019 as the economy recovered. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in enrollment declines in most states. Since 2019, enrollment in . Students attending two–year institutions make up of ’s FTE enrollment, which is the U.S. average of .
State and Local Funding
Where Does Funding Come From?
State and local funding for higher education comes from multiple sources. In most states, state tax appropriations are the largest source of funding. 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 In 31 states, local appropriations also fund higher education. 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 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
Note: Percentages may add up to more than 100 due to funds that were returned to the state or spread over other years.
How is the Funding Used?
In almost every state, the primary use of state and local funds for higher education is for general operations at public institutions. 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 allocates of all funding for this purpose. funds for research, agriculture, and medical (RAM) purposes, which is .
How Does Funding Differ by Sector?
The sources and uses of state and local funding differ for two–year and four–year institutions. 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 Nationally, two–year institutions are primarily funded through state operating and local funding, with a smaller proportion of state financial aid. On the other hand, four–year institutions primarily receive state operating and research, agriculture, and medical (RAM) funding, with slightly more financial aid and limited local appropriations. 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
Per-Student Education Appropriations Over Time
Higher education often faces the largest cuts of any budget category during economic recessions. As a result, state funding has changed over time. Education appropriations per FTE (a measure of state and local support for public higher education, excluding RAM) in have since . 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 In , public institutions in had in education appropriations per FTE, approximately the U.S. average. General operating appropriations in have per FTE from in to in .
Sector-Level Differences in Education Appropriations
Education appropriations differ by institutional sector. i Sector-level education appropriations Education appropriations measure state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses and student financial aid, excluding research, hospitals, and medical education. Sector-level education appropriations includes any portion of federal stimulus funding allocated specifically to each sector and does not include agency funding. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS In , two–year institutions received in education appropriations per FTE in ( the U.S. average), while four–year institutions received ( the U.S. average).
State Financial Aid
In , provided in student financial aid (excluding loans). i Total student financial aid Total student financial aid is the sum of any state appropriated student financial aid for public, independent, and out-of-state institutions, excluding loans. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS Of that aid, went to students attending public institutions; went to students at independent (private) institutions, and supported students at out-of-state institutions. Unlike the rest of education appropriations, in most states, financial aid to public institutions has increased over time. Since , state public financial aid in has gone from to of all education appropriations. i State aid as a percent of education appropriations State aid as a percent of education appropriations measures allocations to state scholarships or other state financial aid for students attending public in-state institutions, as a proportion of total state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS
State Financial Aid for Students Attending Public Institutions
Note: Data for these metrics is not available prior to 2001.
How Does State Financial Aid Differ by Sector?
States provided different amounts of student financial aid by institutional sector. In this year, FTE at two-year institutions received financial aid on average than four-year institutions. Student financial aid comprised a larger part of education appropriations allocated to institutions.
Net Tuition Revenue
How Has the Student Share Changed Over Time?
Over time, the student share (the proportion of total education revenues at public institutions coming from net tuition revenue) has increased in every state. 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 Student share generally rises during economic recessions and levels off during economic recoveries. The sharpest increase in student share occurred during and immediately following the Great Recession. In over half of all states, tuition revenue comprises more than 50% of total revenues. had student share in .
Per-Student Tuition Revenue Over Time
Net tuition revenue measures tuition and fees at public institutions from in-state and out-of-state students, excluding state and institutional financial aid. i Net tuition revenue Net tuition revenue is the total amount of tuition and fees, minus state and institutional financial aid and medical tuition and fees. Net tuition is affected by changes in tuition rates as well as proportional differences in out-of-state, international, and graduate student enrollment. VIEW ALL DATA DEFINITIONS In , had in net tuition revenue per FTE, approximately the U.S. average.
Unlike education appropriations, net tuition and fee revenue has increased steadily over time and there has been a substantial shift of responsibility for financing public higher education toward net tuition revenue. has seen an average annual since . In recent years, net tuition revenue has declined nationally due in large part to increases in state financial aid and below-inflation increases in tuition rates. This is in : net tuition has per FTE since 2019.
How Does Tuition Revenue Vary by Sector?
In , two-year institutions in received per FTE in net tuition revenue ( the U.S. average), while four-year institutions received per FTE ( of the U.S. average).
Total Education Revenue
Total education revenue combines the two primary sources of funding for public higher education—education appropriations and net tuition revenue. 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 Nationally, total education revenue per FTE is at an all-time high. In , public institutions in had, on average, in total revenue per FTE, approximately the national average. Total education revenue per FTE in has since .
How Do Total Revenues Differ by Sector?
Total revenue varies across two-year and four-year institutions, with lower total revenue at two-year institutions in almost every state. Total education revenue at two-year institutions in was per FTE ( the U.S. average), while four-year total revenue was at per FTE ( the U.S. average).