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Privatizing Higher Education – More with less

March 28, 2006

Over the last few months there has been a lot of discussion about the privatization of higher education. This week, I am launching a series that will explore this issue over the coming months. Read a previous post here.

The first in this series will look at a study released last week by the State Higher Education Executives Office that demonstrates how more higher education institutions are relying on students to pay for a larger share of the cost of instruction.

The study found that there has been a significant decline in the amount of money spent by the state per student for the cost of instruction. Today the national average spent per student is $5,833, which is down from $7,121. This decline is a result of stagnant state support and increasing student enrollment.

“In 2005, however, the combined effects of enrollment, growth and inflation grew faster than state and local support. And published projections of state revenues and expenditures suggest that current tax structures are inadequate to sustain existing levels of support for public services. In effect, tax rate reductions enacted during good economic times are making it very difficult for states to finance growing demand for public services in the early years of the 21st century.”

This increased pressure for limited state resources will exacerbate the need for higher education institutions to expand the role of government affairs and alumni relations programs.


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