The States’ ‘Great Retreat’

When they are being pounded for having raised their students’ tuition, public college leaders are quick in turn to point the finger at legislators and governors in their states, whose cuts in financing for higher education are overwhelmingly responsible for the tuition increases.

A new report from the Center for American Progress details — on a state-by-state basis — the extent to which recession-driven reductions in public college financing since 2008 have sent tuitions soaring, and how disproportionately low- and middle-income students and the institutions that serve them have been affected.

And the report cites that evidence in arguing for a new partnership in which the federal government would — with investments of its own — encourage states to spend more of their own funds to boost college-going and graduation, particularly by those traditionally underserved by higher education.

“Since the Great Recession, states have withdrawn public investment in higher education, and many students from low- and middle-income families have been pushed out of public colleges and universities,” says the report, “A Great Recession, a Great Retreat.”

“To ensure that American postsecondary education remains affordable for the next generation of students, it is time for the federal government to make an investment similar to the ones recommended by the Truman Commission [of 1947], with the same goal of significantly boosting degree attainment.” <Read more.>

Via Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed.