Consequences of state disinvestment in public higher education: lessons for the New England states

Abstract: Public higher education produces many benefits that are vital to the New England economy, but it is increasingly at risk following years of state budget cuts. States have reduced funding for higher education to address short-term budget gaps caused by recessions and long-term budget gaps attributed to the growing costs of Medicaid and public pensions. Research in this report shows that reductions in state appropriations have resulted in higher tuition and fees, greater student loan debt, decreased resources for education and research, and fewer graduates and approved patent applications from public colleges and universities. This report recommends that policymakers provide robust financial support for public higher education, particularly community colleges, which are the most vulnerable to the negative consequences of state disinvestment.

Keywords: regional economy; New England; higher education; fiscal policy;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Part of Series: New England Public Policy Center Research Report

Publication Date: 2019-02-01

Number: 19-1

Pages: 26 pages