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State Support for Higher Education Increases in FY05

December 15, 2004

In a reversal from last year, overall appropriations for higher education increased for the 2005 fiscal year, according to an annual study conducted by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. State budgets for the current fiscal year show that total appropriations increased by 3.8 percent from FY04, to a total of $63 billion.

Though this year’s increase in state support is good news for higher education, it must be viewed within the context of the steady annual decline of state funding for colleges and universities over the past several years. In many cases, this year's increases are not enough to make up for the several previous years’ cuts, and therefore budgets still remain lower than they were just two years ago. James C. Palmer of Illinois State University, who conducted the survey, cautioned that while institutions’ costs for maintaining facilities and providing health benefits to employees continue to rise, states’ costs are increasing as well, which could mean the amount of new revenue appropriated to support higher education in the near future is unlikely to reach the levels of increases seen in the 2000 and 2001 fiscal years.

More information and data tables are available on the Illinois State University Web site.