CT's Investment in Higher Education Ranked 8th in US

Although Connecticut’s state and local appropriation per full-time equivalent higher education student, on average, has dropped by 24.1% between 2008 and 2018, the state’s “investment in higher education” ranks 8th highest in the nation, according to a new data analysis. 

The analysis, by the website Hey Tutor, uses data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and indicates that full-time equivalent enrollment has increased by 11.6%. The data also show that 56.2% of total revenue for higher education is borne by student tuition, which is just about at the mid-point among the 50 states at 19th highest in the nation.

The top 10 states in per-student investment are Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Illinois, New York, California, New Mexico, Connecticut, Nebraska and North Carolina.  At the bottom of the rankings list are Colorado, Vermont and New Hampshire.

CT 8.jpg

According to the State Higher Education Finance FY18 report released by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), total educational revenue per student (the sum of educational appropriations and net tuition revenue) reached its highest point nationally in 2018.

However, the analysis points out that a closer look reveals that net tuition revenue per student (adjusted for inflation) has been increasing as a percentage of educational revenue while educational appropriations have been decreasing. Two major factors have contributed to this trend nationwide: the Great Recession and changes in the number of students participating in higher education—referred to as full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE).

According to Senior Policy Analyst Sophia Laderman at SHEEO, “The decline in state and local funding for higher education is the largest factor in tuition increases and increased reliance on tuition revenue. Since the Great Recession, almost half of the increase in tuition and fees can be explained by reductions in state and local funding.”

The numbers for Connecticut:

  • State & local support per FTE: $9,861 (-24.1% since 2008)

  • Net tuition revenue per FTE: $12,645 (+49.8% since 2008)

  • Tuition percentage of total education revenue: 56.2%

  • Total FTE enrollment: 86,008 (+11.6% since 2008)

Nationally since 2008, net tuition revenue per FTE rose by 39 percent. While in 2008, tuition revenue made up just 36 percent of total revenue per student, in 2018 that number was 46 percent.

The SHEEO report notes that even though 10 years have passed since the Great Recession and enrollment appears to be stabilizing, state funding for higher education has only partially recovered.

The data used in this analysis is from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association SHEF: FY 2018 State Higher Education Finance report. All dollar amounts and changes are inflation-adjusted to constant 2018 dollars.

Hey Tutor is an online platform where tutors and students connect with each other.