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Buoyed by federal aid, state higher ed funding rose by 4.5% in fiscal 2021

June 14, 2022

State funding for higher education increasing during the pandemic defies trends observed during past periods of economic turmoil. But enrollment at public institutions has also tended to increase after recessions, making the short recession of 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic unusual in multiple ways.

State funding per FTE jumped in 40 states and Washington, D.C., from fiscal 2020 to 2021. The 4.5% nationwide increase in appropriations was the largest single-year jump since 2014, according to SHEEO.

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