States with steepest higher education spending cuts, 2008 to 2018

Oct. 28, 2019
A decade after the Great Recession, state spending on higher education is 13 percent lower per student than 2008 levels.

Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges in the school year ending in 2018 was more than $6.6 billion below what it was in 2008 (adjusted for inflation), just before the Great Recession fully took hold, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Between school years 2008 to 2018, after adjusting for inflation, the center says, 41 states spent less per student. On average, states spent $1,220, or 13 percent, less per student.

Per-student funding fell by more than 30 percent in six states, topped by Arizona, where per-student state spending on higher education was 54.9% less in 2018 than in 2008.

Here are the 10 states with the largest percentage spending cuts on higher education from 2008n to 2018.

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