Money Problems

Next year will not be a good one for the finances of American public universities. According to an article by Kim Clark in U.S. News & World Report, 32 states have public universities facing serious financial pressure in 2011.

This is because, despite some vague signs of national economic recovery, many states are still bogged down with high unemployment and budget problems. The article estimates an average 6.9 percent decline in tax support for higher education and an average state budget shortfall of almost 17 percent. Unless states find creative ways to raise money, state universities will impose tuition hikes and cut services.

The average state contributes about $6,928 a year to support the education of each in-state student attending a public college or university. The average student, in contrast, pays $8,067 a year to attend a state university.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer