Managing Colleges and Universities: Issues for Leadership

By Allan M. Hoffman; Randal W. Summers | Go to book overview

6
The Financing of Higher Education

David S. HoneyMan


INTRODUCTION

Higher education is a costly enterprise. In 1993 the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that the total revenues for higher education in the United States exceeded $170 billion: a 6% increase over the previous year. These revenues supported programs that educated almost 15 million students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

Higher education is also a complex operation that is funded by a delicate balance of revenue sources, which are diverse and differ in each state. In 1993, public, tax-supported revenue accounted for almost 40% of all revenues and were derived from a combination of federal, state, and local sources. Additional revenues were generated by tuition and fee payments (26.5%), gifts and grants (5.7%), sales and services (23.3%).

One of the primary sources of funding for higher education has been the federal government. Federal funds expended on all education exceeded $18 billion in 1990 and grew to approximately $21 billion in 1993. However, this was a 14.3% reduction in federal support when measured in current ( 1980) dollars. As a result of the reduced support of the federal government, almost every institution of higher education is struggling to operate effectively with diminished resources. One of the key factors in the current fiscal crisis is the decrease in federal support to college students in higher education. Since 1990, federal funds to higher education have increased slightly (15%) but there has been a reduction in assistance to college students (8.3%). In addition, most federal funds for education have flowed as

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