ERIC Number: EJ1094171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Reference Count: 13
The States and Higher Education: An Evolving Relationship at a Pivotal Moment
Meotti, Michael P.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v48 n1 p39-45 2016
The "proud-parent" attitude of states towards higher education between 1945 and 1970--due to the baby boom, the technological contributions that research universities had made to the war effort, and the GI Bill--began to cool in the late 1960s, when inflation and increasing demands from other state services such as Medicaid, prisons, welfare, and K-12 education eroded colleges', and universities' privileged position in state budgets. This article points out that state financial support did exceed inflation during the 1970s and stayed ahead of enrollment growth through the 1980s, but by the turn of the century, state support was barely breaking even. With states and families both under increasing financial stress, states are currently cutting higher education budgets either without a policy context or with a new quid pro quo, where the state asks institutions for actions-- such as freezing tuition or educational innovations--in exchange for whatever funds they receive. Meotti concludes that, while Americans remain largely convinced that postsecondary education is critical for both life and career goals, they also think that that critical service is increasingly out of their financial reach, and they are not sure that they like what institutions choose to offer.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Baby Boomers, Economic Climate, Leaders, Enrollment, Public Policy, Budgeting, Retrenchment, Budgets, Enrollment Trends, Educational Trends
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California; Louisiana; Massachusetts; Wisconsin