Students Bear Brunt of Higher Education Cuts: Report

The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities recently released a report on how state higher education funding cuts have pushed costs to students and worsened inequality.
Specifically, the report finds: “Deep state cuts in funding for higher education over the last decade have contributed to rapid, significant tuition increases and pushed more of the costs of college to students, making it harder for them to enroll and graduate.” Alex Sands, Assistant Director of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Government Relations Division summarized the key points of the report:

  • The benefits of a college degree are significant, but cuts to higher education, rising tuition, and stagnant earnings make things difficult for today’s students to secure these benefits.
    • By the late 1980s, tuition began to rise much faster than incomes.
    • In 2017, the average net price of a public four-year institution accounted for 23% of a family’s median household income. Net price accounted for at least 25% of median household pay in 26 states.
  • Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges in 2018 was more than $6.6 billion below 2008 levels, after adjusting for inflation.
  • States provide just over half of the costs of teaching and instruction at these institutions; schools have raised tuition and reduced academic opportunities and student services.

The report urged state policymakers to invest in high-quality, affordable, and accessible public higher education to build a stronger middle class and develop entrepreneurs and skilled workers that the economy needs.

Please visit the AVMA’s site to sign up for updates and get involved in advocacy efforts on this issue.