Report: Washington among states least reliant on tuition for funding higher education

Stateline reports that across the country, tuition has overtaken state dollars in funding higher education. The chart above, from a new report from State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, shows that Washington remains among the states least reliant on tuition payments.

Here’s how the group describes what we see in the chart.

  • Figure 6 shows that states vary widely in net tuition as a percent of total revenue (the student share), from 14.7 percent in Wyoming to 86.6 percent in Vermont. Since 2008, the student share has increased in all but two states (North Dakota and Wyoming), yet the relative positions in Figure 6 have not changed; states do not generally move from below average to above average.

  • Thirty-three states are above the national average student share of 46.4 percent. Twenty-eight states are above a 50 percent student share. This means that for the rst time, public higher education is more dependent on tuition revenue than educational appropriations in over half of all states

From Stateline,

State colleges and universities are relying more on tuition dollars to fund their operations even as state funding rises and colleges come under pressure to keep tuition low.

Last fiscal year, for the first time, tuition revenue outpaced government appropriations for higher education in the majority of states, according to the annual higher education finance report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. The association represents chief executives of statewide governing, policy and coordinating boards of postsecondary education.

Lawmakers here acted to cut tuition in 2015. And, as the Seattle Times reports, higher education also fared well in the recent short legislative session. 

State lawmakers this year set aside millions of dollars to help pay tuition for low-income college students, build up computer science at the state’s flagship university, and create new student-loan consumer protections…

One of the biggest moves was a pledge by lawmakers to fully fund the State Need Grant, the state’s $300 million college financial-aid program, which has been unable to provide aid to all of the students who qualified for it since 2009.

The SHEEO report states:

Although the cost of college has been rising for students and families, so has the potential economic benefit of earning a postsecondary credential or degree.

We agree.