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Thursday, March 7, 2013

College Students Paying More As Public Funding Drops

Students from around California marched to the Capitol calling for more funding for higher education in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 4, 2013. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Students from around California marched to the Capitol calling for more funding for higher education in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 4, 2013. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

More and more students are finding full-time college education out of reach as per-student state and local funding for higher education falls to a 25-year low, according to a new report.

State and local funding for public colleges and universities dropped by 7 percent last year, and the per-student funding dropped 9 percent – the lowest level in 25 years, according to the Colorado-based State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO).

SHEEO head Paul Lingenfelter blames last year’s drop in enrollment on higher tuition and enrollment caps due to budget cuts.

“Students are paying more, while public institutions are receiving substantially less money to educate them. These one-year decreases in funding and increases in student costs are unprecedented over my 40-year career in higher education,” he said.

Study authors warn that the cuts are a long-term threat to U.S. economic competitiveness, because they come just as other countries are rapidly improving the quality of their post-secondary education.

Public colleges and universities enroll 70 percent of all post-secondary students in the U.S.

Articles by Jon Marcus:


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  • ThirdWayForward

    Jon Marcus says that wages and benefits at universities are high — this is a myth. Marcus should know better than to say this.
    At most universities, the majority of faculty are part-time, contingent adjuncts who are paid a fraction of what regular tenure track faculty make and rarely receive benefits like health insurance and retirement.The university has become a two tier caste system, not unlike Walmart or McDonald’s or other American enterprises, where there are a minority of well-paid faculty and a majority of badly-paid faculty. 

  • Donm

    The massive infusion of government subsidy into post-secondary education over the last 40 years has done what government misallocation always does. It has inflated the balance sheets of universities across our nation. Tuition bills of 30-40K Per year would be half that or less without the firehose of spending Uncle Sam has done on student financing. Yes, we are cheapening what the true value of a college diploma should be. A degree today is an entitlement. Everyone deserves one, right?

    But by making everyone special…no one is special. Why does USA spend taxpayer dollars for every mediocre student to obtain a neuro-psyche degree, when our nation goes begging for skilled mechanics, carpenters, machinists, and other trades vital to a strong core manufacturing base?

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