Archive for Friday, March 9, 2007

As enrollment climbs, financial support lags

March 9, 2007

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A nationwide study released Thursday suggests that after a decade of dwindling public funding for higher education, the picture could be improving for universities.

The average government appropriation per higher education student nationwide last year was $6,325, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2005, according to the study by State Higher Education Executive Officers. But the 2005 figure was a 25-year low when adjusted for inflation.

"Between 2001 and 2005, higher education enrollments grew rapidly in the United States, inflation increased at typical rates, and state and local support failed to keep pace," the report says.

Higher education enrollment in Kansas grew by about 26 percent between 2001 and 2006, making it the fourth-highest growth rate nationwide, according to the study. At the same time, the amount appropriated per student in Kansas dropped by more than 23 percent, from $7,122 in 2001 to $5,480 last year.

Kansas University received about $5,800 in state general fund money per full-time student in 2006, slightly below the national average, according to KU figures.

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