Higher Education



Higher education institutions, such as state universities, community colleges, institutes of technology, vocational schools, trade schools, and career colleges, receive funding support through state budgets. In fiscal 2011, state expenditures for higher education purposes totaled $170.4 billion, 10.1 percent of total state spending, down from over 13.0 percent in 1998. Despite increased state spending and federal initiatives to make higher education more affordable, tuition and fees at many four-year public institutions continue a rapid rise.

Staff Contact: Kathryn Vesey White

NASBO Publications

  • Highlights include:- In fiscal 2015, total state spending increased at its fastest rate since 1992, primarily due to growth in federal Medicaid funds resulting from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).- Spending from states’ own funds moderately grew in fiscal 2015, while federal funds to states rapidly increased due to the ACA.- Medicaid represented over half of all federal funds to states in fiscal 2015.- State revenue growth accelerated in fiscal 2015, although it was hampered somewhat by the decline in oil prices.
  • This report shows that state budgets are expected to continue on a path of stable, moderate growth, with 42 governors recommending spending increases for fiscal 2016. However, progress is slow, and structural issues and long-term spending pressures will require difficult budget choices for many states. States’ spending proposals continue to be cautious as they plan for limited revenue growth.

Recently Released Reports