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ERIC Number: ED568907
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Trends in College Spending: 2003-2013. Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does It Go? What Does It Buy?
Desrochers, Donna M.; Hurlburt, Steven
Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research
This report examines college and university finances during one of the most turbulent economic periods in decades. The financial ramifications of the 2008 recession were vast, affecting students' ability to pay for college, lawmakers' prioritization of public resources, and the budgetary environment facing higher education leaders. The challenges brought by the fiscal crisis also provided colleges and universities with an opportunity to reevaluate how they allocated resources and rethink how to manage costs and improve student outcomes. Like previous Trends in College Spending reports, this update is meant to aid readers in developing a deeper understanding of how colleges collect and spend money and the outcomes they produce. Financial and performance trends during the 2003-2013 decade suggest that, five years after the onset of the recession, higher education finally began to show signs of a fiscal recovery. Spending increases were widespread in 2013, with all types of public and private institutions spending, on average, more per student than the year before. Public and private research and master's institutions experienced the strongest resurgence, as educational spending per student returned near the peak levels observed before the recession. Highlights from this 2016 "Trends in College Spending" report are: (1) Spending increased across all types of public and private institutions from 2012 to 2013; (2) The financial position of community colleges showed significant improvement in 2013 as enrollment continued to decline; (3) After four years of significant declines, sharp cuts in state and local appropriations subsided in 2013; (4) Colleges and universities no longer shifted additional operating costs onto students in 2013, but tuition revenue still financed a majority of education-related spending at public and private four-year institutions; and (5) Degree and certificate production grew throughout the decade amid steadily declining costs in the recession's aftermath; in 2013, however, a reversal occurred at some types of institutions. . [For "Trends in College Spending: 2001-2011. A Delta Data Update," see ED558474.]
Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5410; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research (AIR)