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State Support for Higher Ed Is Up

February 3, 2023

State funding for public higher education in fiscal year 2023 increased by 6.6 percent over last year, to $112.3 billion, according to a new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO. It's the second time state support for higher education has topped $100 billion.

Nearly half of the state funding went to four-year institutions, while two-year colleges received 22 percent; another 13.2 percent was allocated to financial aid, and 11.4 percent went to research, hospital expansion and medical schools.

State support rose in 38 states, and 14 reported increases of 10 percent or more, including Arizona (19.8 percent), Mississippi (26.6 percent), New Mexico (23.5 percent) and Tennessee (22.1 percent). Funding decreased in five states and Washington, D.C., and Connecticut saw the most dramatic decrease in funding—down 9.2 percent from last fiscal year.

For the past two years, SHEEO has also tracked data on the federal stimulus money that states allocated to higher education. In fiscal 2023, states allocated $1.2 billion of federal funding to higher ed, bringing the total federal stimulus money allocated to higher ed between 2020 and 2023 to $8.8 billion.

Taking these most recent data into account, state support has increased 27.5 percent nationally in the past five years, without accounting for inflation, the report noted.

The data collected in the SHEEO report represent state funds approved from October to January and may change throughout the year.

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Liam Knox

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