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Higher Ed Issues
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Over the last 20 years, real per student state spending to support public higher education has declined, forcing universities to increase tuition to offset dwindling state support. The resulting educational budgets, largely state appropriations plus net tuition receipts, have grown at a very modest rate (.48 percent per year) over these two decades. This reality flies in the face of public perception that universities’ budgets are swollen by unnecessary increases in tuition, presumably levied to pay for faculty salaries and other “frills.” The real per student cost of providing higher education by public universities essentially has remained unchanged during this period.
:: Discussion Paper: University Tuition, Consumer Choice and College Affordability: Strategies for Addressing a Higher Education Affordability Challenge:: Executive Summary:: The Administration of Public Universities:: Annual Meeting Presentation
Wide gaps have opened in per student funding between public and private universities and the widening gaps cause concern that quality is threatened and will deteriorate if the gaps continue to grow. Nevertheless the indications are that the quality of public higher education has remained strong, though measurements of quality are imperfect. Maintaining quality in these challenging times has been aided by increasingly sophisticated and effective university administration.
A۰P۰L۰U is beginning a dialogue among university leaders about what can be done. The following documents are meant to provide a basis for this discussion.
As college and university endowments come under increasing scrutiny from the public, A۰P۰L۰U along with the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of Universities (AAU), and National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) have prepared several fact sheets about the issue.
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