Earlier this month, we presented a chart showing tuition increases at Kentucky state colleges since 1980. It led to a good deal of attention because, well, tuition had increased substantially since the Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. Administration.
Some wondered also about the state legislature’s funding provided to state universities and colleges. Here’s what that looks from 1999 to the current academic year:
These lines represent net general fund allocations to Kentucky’s state universities and colleges. The Council on Postsecondary Education provided the data, which wouldn’t include allocations for special projects.
OK, so how does that compare with those tuition numbers? I pulled out a few examples. First off, the University of Louisville.
And the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Now, one caveat with KCTCS—through 2004, Lexington Community College was funded separately. The gray line is an adjusted figure.
And let’s look at a regional university—Murray State.
Here’s a direct link to the graphics on state funding, UofL, KCTCS, and Murray State. A lot goes into questions of funding and budgets and tuition levels—inflation, healthcare costs, and—let’s not forget—increased enrollment. But many in higher education look to the state funding numbers above as a culprit for why tuition keep rising. (And what’s happening in Kentucky isn’t happening everywhere.) In the next few days, we’ll take a look at per-pupil spending by universities and by the state.