State and local funding for public universities and colleges fell 7 percent to $81.2 billion in 2012 from a year earlier, driving up a measure of tuition to record levels, according to an annual survey.
States and local governments have been cutting support for higher education since the recession that ended more than three years ago even as enrollment has grown. Colleges have been forced to raise prices, with net tuition revenue per student reaching an all-time high of $5,189 last year, the State Higher Education Executive Officers said in a report released today.
“These one-year decreases in funding and increases in student costs are unprecedented over my forty-year career in higher education,” said Paul Lingenfelter, president of the group, based in Boulder, Colorado.
Public funding in 2013 is expected to be unchanged, based on a review of state budgets, according to the survey. After reaching an all-time high of almost 12 million students in 2011, enrollment was little changed last year as the price of higher education rose, the group said.