States Where Public Colleges Are Underfunded

0
65


Colleges receive a mix of federal and state funding, but the beneficiaries typically differ. The federal government tends to provide assistance to students and research projects, according to a data analysis from Pew, while state funding often supports operating expenses. Funding can also come from private sources, as well as the tuition and fees that students pay. When a school is underfunded, students often pay the price.

The latest Student Loan Hero study looks at the states where public colleges are underfunded (and where they’re not). We’ll mainly highlight 2019-2020 data (the latest available) at the state and school level, but we’ll also look at underfunding over the past five years.

Keep reading to learn more.

Key findings

  • Combining all institutions, 10 states’ public colleges were underfunded in 2019-2020 — the latest available data. Reported revenues covered 87.6% of reported expenses in Connecticut — the lowest on the list. Just ahead were Wyoming (92.5%) and New Jersey (96.6%). Meanwhile, six states were overfunded by at least 10%, led by New Mexico (137.4%), Delaware (114.0%) and Kentucky (113.1%).
  • Depending on the state, more of a school’s funding can come from tuition, meaning students may shoulder heavier costs. During the 2019-2020 period examined, 45.7% of Vermont public colleges’ total funding came from tuition and fees — the highest in the U.S. New Hampshire (38.5%) and Arizona (37.9%) were closest. Tuition and fees comprised at least 25% of public school funding in 23 states in 2019-2020.
  • The top of the list of the most underfunded schools in 2019-2020 was dominated by two-year and less-than-two-year institutions. Among the 10 most underfunded schools, seven are two-year-or-less schools, led by Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center in Missouri, where reported revenues covered only 21.1% of reported expenses. The first four-year school to appear was the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law (62.7%).
  • Looking wider, only five states’ schools were underfunded in the combined period from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020. Mississippi public colleges only had enough funding to cover 93.5% of incurred expenses during that period, while Hawaii (97.5%) and New York (98.1%) were next. Only one state was overfunded by at least 10% in this period: Texas (111.4%).

How Student Loan Hero tracked underfunded schools

Student Loan Hero researchers first calculated total expenses and revenues for state-controlled public postsecondary institutions (universities, colleges and trade and vocational schools) during 2019-2020.

The time frames within 2019 and/or 2020 are dependent on the institution, covering the last fiscal year that ended before Oct. 1, 2020. For example, our 2019-2020 data could include schools that ended their fiscal year on Dec. 31, 2019, or March 31, 2020 — or any other period in the 12 months before Oct. 1, 2020. For this study, we’ll refer to the period as 2019-2020.

We combined all institutions in a state to show whether a state was underfunded (or overfunded) and tracked individual schools to give an idea of how some schools can be impacted more than others.

10 states’ public colleges were underfunded in 2019-2020

Public colleges in 10 states were underfunded in 2019-2020. Colleges are getting a dwindling amount of federal funding, according to the latest Pew research. Because state funding generally goes to operating expenses, states’ investments in higher education can play a significant role in whether schools are underfunded.

From 2008 to 2018, state funding for higher education dropped by an inflation-adjusted $6.6 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. But looking between 2017 and 2018, the center found 27 states reduced per-student funding while 23 increased allocations, so it’s more of a split picture.

In 2019-2020, the following states’ public colleges had the least amount of their expenses covered by reported revenues.

  • Connecticut: 87.6%
  • Wyoming: 92.5%
  • New Jersey: 96.6%

Here’s a full look across the U.S.:

States where public colleges are most underfunded (2019-2020)
Rank State Total revenues and funds Total expenses and deductions Funding shortfall/excess % covered
1 Connecticut $3,823,012,635 $4,362,218,711 -$539,206,076 87.6%
2 Wyoming $549,961,000 $594,791,000 -$44,830,000 92.5%
3 New Jersey $7,110,929,868 $7,359,018,466 -$248,088,598 96.6%
4 Missouri $4,712,939,444 $4,858,881,500 -$145,942,056 97.0%
5 Florida $13,783,259,221 $14,124,654,206 -$341,394,985 97.6%
6 Michigan $16,596,420,697 $16,845,446,675 -$249,025,978 98.5%
7 Ohio $15,278,571,819 $15,478,709,542 -$200,137,723 98.7%
8 Georgia $9,781,472,105 $9,835,747,996 -$54,275,891 99.4%
8 North Dakota $1,168,862,763 $1,175,585,400 -$6,722,637 99.4%
10 Arizona $6,849,766,672 $6,873,689,339 -$23,922,667 99.7%
11 California $60,117,557,865 $60,093,010,899 $24,546,966 100.0%
12 Montana $1,096,824,538 $1,093,009,584 $3,814,954 100.3%
13 Nebraska $2,422,497,799 $2,408,515,270 $13,982,529 100.6%
14 Hawaii $1,620,856,912 $1,609,233,973 $11,622,939 100.7%
15 New York $15,805,139,597 $15,670,049,018 $135,090,579 100.9%
16 Wisconsin $5,420,354,320 $5,366,190,696 $54,163,624 101.0%
17 Mississippi $4,256,167,235 $4,204,941,230 $51,226,005 101.2%
18 Minnesota $5,912,425,077 $5,826,350,946 $86,074,131 101.5%
19 Maryland $6,658,334,896 $6,554,012,438 $104,322,458 101.6%
20 South Carolina $5,467,587,659 $5,373,862,035 $93,725,624 101.7%
21 New Hampshire $977,617,847 $958,411,623 $19,206,224 102.0%
22 West Virginia $2,008,652,304 $1,959,613,399 $49,038,905 102.5%
23 Maine $895,735,238 $872,668,848 $23,066,390 102.6%
24 Massachusetts $5,538,065,910 $5,384,913,671 $153,152,239 102.8%
25 Illinois $11,224,771,318 $10,856,385,325 $368,385,993 103.4%
26 Alaska $723,232,809 $698,055,471 $25,177,338 103.6%
26 Arkansas $4,364,041,814 $4,212,161,739 $151,880,075 103.6%
28 Vermont $941,098,598 $907,578,068 $33,520,530 103.7%
29 Nevada $2,092,817,490 $2,012,967,946 $79,849,544 104.0%
30 Pennsylvania $2,533,715,874 $2,428,883,825 $104,832,049 104.3%
31 Louisiana $4,831,942,214 $4,620,117,157 $211,825,057 104.6%
32 Rhode Island $896,432,105 $855,775,045 $40,657,060 104.8%
33 Iowa $6,008,654,342 $5,724,236,325 $284,418,017 105.0%
34 Idaho $1,487,480,261 $1,414,610,956 $72,869,305 105.2%
35 Washington $11,513,530,668 $10,918,022,237 $595,508,431 105.5%
36 Kansas $3,364,092,117 $3,180,643,609 $183,448,508 105.8%
36 Oklahoma $5,195,735,809 $4,910,384,437 $285,351,372 105.8%
38 South Dakota $837,902,663 $791,080,920 $46,821,743 105.9%
39 North Carolina $12,086,740,014 $11,348,584,396 $738,155,618 106.5%
40 Indiana $8,247,537,376 $7,699,679,684 $547,857,692 107.1%
40 Virginia $11,959,022,163 $11,161,334,962 $797,687,201 107.1%
42 Utah $8,150,426,244 $7,524,986,332 $625,439,912 108.3%
43 Alabama $9,298,865,604 $8,580,623,080 $718,242,524 108.4%
44 Tennessee $5,453,802,017 $4,980,481,848 $473,320,169 109.5%
45 Colorado $8,141,436,974 $7,377,827,945 $763,609,029 110.4%
46 Texas $34,975,130,667 $31,443,177,085 $3,531,953,582 111.2%
47 Oregon $3,712,515,002 $3,311,369,955 $401,145,047 112.1%
48 Kentucky $7,006,769,489 $6,193,165,144 $813,604,345 113.1%
49 Delaware $343,356,637 $301,125,219 $42,231,418 114.0%
50 New Mexico $4,138,844,016 $3,011,758,420 $1,127,085,596 137.4%
Source: Student Loan Hero analysis of reported revenues and expenses from state-run schools in 2019-2020, via the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

On the flip side, six states’ public schools were overfunded by at least 10%, with the following states being the most overfunded:

  • New Mexico: 137.4%
  • Delaware: 114.0%
  • Kentucky: 113.1%

Depending on the state, students may shoulder heavier costs through tuition

Due to underfunding, some states rely more on tuition, which ultimately leads to students shouldering more of their college costs to achieve a higher education.

For example, almost half (45.7%) of Vermont public colleges’ total funding came from tuition and fees in 2019-2020. New Hampshire (38.5%) and Arizona (37.9%) also heavily relied on student contributions. In 23 states, tuition and fees comprised at least 25% of public school funding during that same period.

Ultimately, though, because state funding varies so widely, more reliance on tuition and fees doesn’t equate to states’ public schools being fully funded. For example, even though Arizona was the third most-reliant state on tuition and fees, its public schools were still slightly underfunded in 2019-2020. That means Arizona still has more funding gaps to fill.

You can use the chart below to compare which states get a higher (or lower) percentage of their revenues from tuition and fees:

States that rely the most on tuition for public college funding (2019-2020)
Rank State Total revenues Revenues from tuition and fees % of revenues from tuition and fees
1 Vermont $941,098,598 $429,844,682 45.7%
2 New Hampshire $977,617,847 $376,220,433 38.5%
3 Arizona $6,849,766,672 $2,596,772,665 37.9%
4 Pennsylvania $2,533,715,874 $937,821,369 37.0%
5 Rhode Island $896,432,105 $318,767,209 35.6%
6 Indiana $8,247,537,376 $2,847,684,146 34.5%
7 South Carolina $5,467,587,659 $1,775,472,713 32.5%
8 Colorado $8,141,436,974 $2,568,054,104 31.5%
8 New Jersey $7,110,929,868 $2,238,211,444 31.5%
10 West Virginia $2,008,652,304 $630,384,402 31.4%
11 North Dakota $1,168,862,763 $334,475,769 28.6%
12 Montana $1,096,824,538 $310,170,476 28.3%
12 South Dakota $837,902,663 $237,044,897 28.3%
14 Oregon $3,712,515,002 $1,047,143,720 28.2%
15 Massachusetts $5,538,065,910 $1,510,937,833 27.3%
16 Idaho $1,487,480,261 $401,484,784 27.0%
17 Maine $895,735,238 $236,911,715 26.4%
18 Louisiana $4,831,942,214 $1,256,750,138 26.0%
19 Virginia $11,959,022,163 $3,074,480,327 25.7%
19 Wisconsin $5,420,354,320 $1,393,620,007 25.7%
21 Michigan $16,596,420,697 $4,238,098,224 25.5%
22 Delaware $343,356,637 $86,834,411 25.3%
23 Kansas $3,364,092,117 $847,857,086 25.2%
24 Georgia $9,781,472,105 $2,367,296,472 24.2%
25 Maryland $6,658,334,896 $1,603,435,416 24.1%
25 Ohio $15,278,571,819 $3,685,665,784 24.1%
27 Minnesota $5,912,425,077 $1,391,932,790 23.5%
28 Nevada $2,092,817,490 $475,539,368 22.7%
29 Alabama $9,298,865,604 $2,056,833,818 22.1%
29 Tennessee $5,453,802,017 $1,207,318,125 22.1%
31 Connecticut $3,823,012,635 $842,453,714 22.0%
32 Oklahoma $5,195,735,809 $1,089,672,022 21.0%
33 Missouri $4,712,939,444 $978,133,303 20.8%
34 Nebraska $2,422,497,799 $474,146,257 19.6%
35 Illinois $11,224,771,318 $2,193,383,616 19.5%
36 Washington $11,513,530,668 $2,163,285,877 18.8%
37 Florida $13,783,259,221 $2,361,157,926 17.1%
38 Alaska $723,232,809 $122,862,376 17.0%
38 Texas $34,975,130,667 $5,948,617,387 17.0%
40 Mississippi $4,256,167,235 $691,805,905 16.3%
40 North Carolina $12,086,740,014 $1,973,297,636 16.3%
42 Hawaii $1,620,856,912 $263,001,234 16.2%
43 Kentucky $7,006,769,489 $1,109,912,356 15.8%
44 Iowa $6,008,654,342 $939,734,997 15.6%
45 New York $15,805,139,597 $2,340,176,891 14.8%
46 Arkansas $4,364,041,814 $629,978,492 14.4%
47 Wyoming $549,961,000 $76,336,000 13.9%
48 California $60,117,557,865 $7,962,885,678 13.2%
49 Utah $8,150,426,244 $964,504,818 11.8%
50 New Mexico $4,138,844,016 $292,853,279 7.1%
Source: Student Loan Hero analysis of reported revenues from state-run schools in 2019-2020, via IPEDS.

2-year (or less) institutions dominate the top of the list of the most underfunded schools

Two-year and less-than-two-year institutions topped the list of the institutions that are often the most underfunded. Among the 10 most underfunded schools, seven are two-year-or-less schools. The most underfunded school was Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center in Missouri, where reported revenues covered only 21.1% of reported expenses. Two-year-or-less schools are known for receiving much less funding than four-year institutions, but eventually the playing field gets a bit more even. Among the top 25 most underfunded public postsecondary schools, there is a more even split between four-year and two-year-or-less institutions.

The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law was the most underfunded four-year institution. Graduate programs often charge higher prices to help generate revenue that offsets some of the costs of undergraduate education. That means that graduate students at underfunded schools are shouldering even more of a financial burden (and likely taking on more student loan debt).

You can better understand which types of schools are the most underfunded by reviewing the following chart.

25 most underfunded public postsecondary schools (2019-2020)
Rank Institution name State Type Total revenues and funds Total expenses and deductions Funding excess/shortfall % covered
1 Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center MO Less than 2 year $214,652 $1,019,583 -$804,931 21.1%
2 Robert Morgan Educational Center and Technical College FL 2-year $2,472,910 $9,845,280 -$7,372,370 25.1%
3 Eastern Suffolk BOCES NY Less than 2 year $69,385 $178,344 -$108,959 38.9%
4 Buckeye Career Center OH Less than 2 year $1,016,823 $1,837,596 -$820,773 55.3%
5 University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law NH 4-year $7,848,169 $12,507,724 -$4,659,555 62.7%
6 Fayette Institute of Technology WV Less than 2 year $295,400 $432,000 -$136,600 68.4%
7 University of New Hampshire at Manchester NH 4-year $14,470,323 $19,571,488 -$5,101,165 73.9%
8 Murray State College OK 2-year $17,410,381 $21,697,891 -$4,287,510 80.2%
9 Rutgers University-Camden NJ 4-year $195,301,000 $242,905,000 -$47,604,000 80.4%
10 Charlotte Technical College FL Less than 2 year $3,273,547 $4,000,529 -$726,982 81.8%
11 Cal Maritime CA 4-year $77,052,419 $93,769,953 -$16,717,534 82.2%
12 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania PA 4-year $43,899,320 $53,364,413 -$9,465,093 82.3%
13 University of Connecticut CT 4-year $2,446,228,716 $2,957,316,799 -$511,088,083 82.7%
14 Cuyamaca College CA 2-year $57,634,763 $68,982,811 -$11,348,048 83.5%
15 Missouri Southern State University MO 4-year $69,201,595 $82,048,617 -$12,847,022 84.3%
16 SUNY Erie NY 2-year $117,842,554 $139,415,763 -$21,573,209 84.5%
17 CUNY School of Law NY 4-year $39,860,876 $47,073,559 -$7,212,683 84.7%
17 Grossmont College CA 2-year $111,949,360 $132,178,893 -$20,229,533 84.7%
19 South Central Career Center MO Less than 2 year $1,082,370 $1,275,855 -$193,485 84.8%
20 Lanier Technical College GA 2-year $36,220,758 $42,346,094 -$6,125,336 85.5%
21 University of Minnesota Rochester MN 4-year $21,296,841 $24,783,756 -$3,486,915 85.9%
22 Truman State University MO 4-year $97,715,487 $113,364,461 -$15,648,974 86.2%
23 Ohio State ATI OH 2-year $10,469,028 $12,136,305 -$1,667,277 86.3%
23 Santa Barbara City College CA 2-year $184,043,377 $213,157,287 -$29,113,910 86.3%
25 Fashion Institute of Technology NY 4-year $240,879,376 $277,680,372 -$36,800,996 86.7%
Source: Student Loan Hero analysis of reported revenues and expenses from state-run schools in 2019-2020, via IPEDS.

Looking wider, here’s how underfunding looked over the past 5 years

It seems as if states becoming underfunded is rising. When you look at the five years from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020, only five states were underfunded during that time, compared to twice that amount (10 states) being underfunded in 2019-2020.

During those five years, Mississippi public colleges only had enough funding to cover 93.5% of incurred expenses, followed by Hawaii (97.5%) and New York (98.1%). But these three states saw their funding rise toward the end of the five years. During 2019-2020, they each had slightly more than 100% of their expenses covered by funding.

To better understand why changes like this occur, we can use New Mexico as an example. During the five years, its schools were the 15th most underfunded, but they were the least underfunded in 2019-2020.

Why did this happen? It’s likely because New Mexico in recent years has been using lottery funds to cover tuition payments for eligible students, while it limited using lottery funds for this purpose from 2015 to 2018, when it was one of the more underfunded states.

Here’s a wider look at public funding in each state over five years:

States where public colleges are most underfunded (2015-2016 to 2019-2020)
Rank State Total revenues and funds Total expenses and deductions Funding excess/shortfall % covered
1 Mississippi $20,321,713,338 $21,741,252,312 -$1,419,538,974 93.5%
2 Hawaii $7,654,549,198 $7,850,124,362 -$195,575,164 97.5%
3 New York $72,698,644,726 $74,117,198,232 -$1,418,553,506 98.1%
4 Connecticut $19,610,792,447 $19,708,102,483 -$97,310,036 99.5%
5 Pennsylvania $12,532,183,864 $12,540,699,978 -$8,516,114 99.9%
6 Wisconsin $25,322,549,647 $25,241,860,946 $80,688,701 100.3%
7 New Jersey $35,295,628,067 $35,105,928,618 $189,699,449 100.5%
8 California $264,381,158,275 $261,208,578,361 $3,172,579,914 101.2%
9 Florida $64,480,969,393 $63,511,562,536 $969,406,857 101.5%
10 Minnesota $28,779,530,036 $28,306,508,182 $473,021,854 101.7%
11 Alaska $3,964,656,372 $3,894,746,877 $69,909,495 101.8%
12 Maine $4,323,551,343 $4,221,891,776 $101,659,567 102.4%
13 Illinois $55,228,148,674 $53,904,474,012 $1,323,674,662 102.5%
14 West Virginia $9,763,081,778 $9,518,191,697 $244,890,081 102.6%
15 New Mexico $18,620,880,302 $18,093,516,454 $527,363,848 102.9%
16 Vermont $4,515,505,121 $4,387,470,580 $128,034,541 102.9%
17 Arkansas $20,701,115,699 $20,105,289,144 $595,826,555 103.0%
18 South Carolina $25,224,001,927 $24,471,259,117 $752,742,810 103.1%
19 Missouri $23,246,537,415 $22,552,131,503 $694,405,912 103.1%
20 Arizona $31,619,432,155 $30,648,285,604 $971,146,551 103.2%
21 Montana $5,403,504,846 $5,229,807,050 $173,697,796 103.3%
22 Idaho $6,953,184,463 $6,725,529,695 $227,654,768 103.4%
23 Nevada $9,126,076,900 $8,824,887,049 $301,189,851 103.4%
24 North Dakota $5,978,619,742 $5,775,327,197 $203,292,545 103.5%
25 Colorado $36,660,899,411 $35,336,017,176 $1,324,882,235 103.7%
26 Georgia $45,644,567,062 $43,972,868,228 $1,671,698,834 103.8%
27 Washington $52,926,413,563 $50,851,564,057 $2,074,849,506 104.1%
28 Michigan $81,956,235,546 $78,612,996,522 $3,343,239,024 104.3%
29 Oregon $16,236,907,889 $15,572,954,098 $663,953,791 104.3%
30 Oklahoma $24,585,459,013 $23,574,498,170 $1,010,960,843 104.3%
31 Massachusetts $27,255,734,083 $26,075,248,232 $1,180,485,851 104.5%
32 New Hampshire $5,076,677,129 $4,850,052,395 $226,624,734 104.7%
33 Maryland $32,244,992,141 $30,709,263,191 $1,535,728,950 105.0%
34 Ohio $73,983,635,737 $70,325,149,210 $3,658,486,527 105.2%
35 Kansas $15,908,412,703 $15,093,256,620 $815,156,083 105.4%
36 Louisiana $22,146,385,416 $20,968,020,838 $1,178,364,578 105.6%
37 Indiana $37,683,135,973 $35,490,674,328 $2,192,461,645 106.2%
38 Rhode Island $4,368,497,057 $4,082,845,720 $285,651,337 107.0%
39 Kentucky $32,298,555,976 $30,160,973,193 $2,137,582,783 107.1%
40 Alabama $43,102,312,665 $40,248,755,647 $2,853,557,018 107.1%
41 North Carolina $57,526,524,688 $53,691,563,755 $3,834,960,933 107.1%
42 Iowa $28,852,448,736 $26,905,385,125 $1,947,063,611 107.2%
43 Wyoming $3,033,781,226 $2,826,954,881 $206,826,345 107.3%
44 Tennessee $25,316,485,113 $23,494,266,254 $1,822,218,859 107.8%
45 Delaware $1,578,572,379 $1,464,372,046 $114,200,333 107.8%
46 Virginia $56,317,597,327 $52,168,919,047 $4,148,678,280 108.0%
47 Nebraska $11,899,815,176 $11,022,384,739 $877,430,437 108.0%
48 South Dakota $4,223,246,977 $3,859,708,196 $363,538,781 109.4%
49 Utah $36,698,541,144 $33,517,360,193 $3,181,180,951 109.5%
50 Texas $160,486,744,057 $144,127,245,886 $16,359,498,171 111.4%
Source: Student Loan Hero analysis of reported revenues and expenses from state-run schools between 2015-2016 and 2019-2020, via IPEDS.



Source link