State Higher Ed Cuts to Widen Degree Gap

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released Wednesday warns that persistent cuts to state higher ed budgets will widen the gap of college degree attainment.

The report, titled “Years of Cuts Threaten to Put College Out of Reach for More Students,” found that, in most states, funding for higher ed was lower in the 2014-15 school year than it was before the recession, which the authors contended put a huge strain on families trying to afford the cost of education.

“On the front end, as costs increase for a lot of students and their families, especially low-income students, it creates barriers to access,” said Michael Mitchell II, a policy analyst with the Center and one of the report’s authors. “If students and their families perceive the cost is increasing, that in itself is a deterrent from applying.”

Pointing out that the drastic cuts to higher ed spending across the country have led to tuition increases at many public two- and four-year institutions, Mitchell said, “We want to look at the university or the college and say ‘What are they doing wrong,’ but a lot of [the large increases in tuition] can really be explained by state funding.” <Read more.>

Via Autumn A. Arnett, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.