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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Revenue and Expenditures Fall at Public Institutions

May 18, 2015

From FY10 to FY12, total revenue at four-year public colleges fell from $41,045 per full-time equivalent student to $39,433 (dollar figures adjusted for inflation), according to the latest edition of the Digest of Education Statistics. While revenue from tuition and fees rose 8.8 percent, state appropriations declined 14 percent.

These revenue shifts have made public colleges more reliant on tuition and fees to fund basic operations. State appropriations fell from 23.5 percent of total revenue for all public universities in FY09 to 17.5 percent in FY12. Tuition and fees, meanwhile, increased from 20.1 percent to 21.4 percent.

Total expenditures also fell to $37,976 per FTE student from $38,085 between 2010 and 2012. Expenses related to academic instruction declined 2.5 percent, while expenses for student scholarships and fellowships increased 2.2 percent.

The annual Digest of Education Statistics, available free from the National Center for Education Statistics, also contains data on the number of schools, teachers, enrollments, graduates, and international comparisons.


Ken Redd
Director, Research and Policy Analysis