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

  • 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.
  • This report shows that state fiscal conditions are moderately improving in fiscal 2015 as the economic recovery enters its sixth year. Consistent annual growth in the economy, while not as robust as many would like, is leading most states back to budget growth. States have replenished some spending for areas cut back during the recession, such as K-12 education and higher education. In addition to bolstering state spending, economic growth has produced higher revenue collections.