States are spending more overall on higher education today than in 1987, but these spending increases have not kept pace with student enrollment growth. State and local funding for higher education has declined to $7,152 per student enrolled in a public two- or four-year school in 2015, down from $9,489 per student enrolled in 1987. To learn more about the gradual decline in public financial support of higher education over the past 30 years, read Webber’s “Higher Ed, Lower Spending” online.

—Education Next

Last updated May 9, 2018