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How States Fare in Their Support of Public Higher Ed

January 7, 2016
 

Young Invincibles released report cards today that grade states on their support of public higher education. The results weren't great, and only one state -- Wyoming, the least populated state in the U.S., got an A (seven states received a B).

In its report, Young Invincibles, a think tank that advocates on behalf of jobs, health care and education for young adults, considered factors like a state's growth or decline in public higher education support since the recession, how states compared to other states in terms of support, a state's support to disadvantaged students, and whether states offer aid on the basis of need or merit.

The report notes that the share of college a family pays has increased since the recession as well, growing from 36 percent in 2008 to around 50 percent in 2014. Families were left with the largest burden in Maine, at 82 percent, and the lowest cost share in Wyoming, at 15 percent.

Among the more than 40 factors Young Invincibles considered when grading states is how much tuition at public four- and two-year colleges has risen since the recession. In Arizona, which received an F from the group, tuition rose 72 percent from 2008 to 2014 (Georgia and Louisiana followed close behind, with increases of 68 and 66 percent, respectively). Meanwhile, Maine, Maryland, Missouri and Montana each had tuition increases below 10 percent during that time.

The report also found that just two states spend as much on higher education as they did before the recession (Alaska and North Dakota). As of 2014, Louisiana spent 41 percent less on public higher education than it did in 2008. Seven states kept investment decreases below 10 percent during that time.

 

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