States Investing the Most in Higher Education

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36. Arizona
> Annual higher ed. spending per student:
$5,350
> 5-yr. chg.: -23.8% (2nd largest decrease)
> Total public college enrollment: 274,235 (12th highest)
> Tuition cost per student: $7,331 (21st highest)

Arizona now spends $2,975 less per full-time, public college or university student than it did before the recession. Only four states had larger spending reductions per student. Students have picked up the tab for the lost revenue. Tuition costs for full-time students at public institutions have gone up by an average of $2,768 over the same time period, the fourth largest increase of any state. Arizona State University is one of the largest public education institutions in the country.

37. Montana
> Annual higher ed. spending per student:
$5,248
> 5-yr. chg.: 6.4% (9th largest increase)
> Total public college enrollment: 38,732 (10th lowest)
> Tuition cost per student: $5,535 (21st lowest)

At $5,248 per pupil, Montana invests less in public higher education than most states. However, while most states have reduced per student higher education spending since 2008, Montana increased financial support for public universities by 1.5%. Higher education expenditures per student are also up by 6.4% over the last five years, in contrast with the nationwide decline of 2.4% over that period. Higher funding from public sources means public universities rely less heavily on tuition paid by students and families. Net tuition per student in Montana has risen by just 8.9% since 2008, in contrast with the national average increase of 31.8%.

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38. Indiana
> Annual higher ed. spending per student:
$5,142
> 5-yr. chg.: -2.9% (4th smallest decrease)
> Total public college enrollment: 249,218 (14th highest)
> Tuition cost per student: $6,696 (23rd highest)

In recent years, public higher education investments have increased across the nation. This reflects the national economic recovery. However, Indiana is one of only 10 states that reduced per-student higher education spending last year. Reductions in public funding usually drive up out-of-pocket costs for students and families. In Indiana, however, per student tuition payments actually decreased last year.

39. Michigan
> Annual higher ed. spending per student:
$5,097
> 5-yr. chg.: -4.5% (8th smallest decrease)
> Total public college enrollment: 392,275 (6th highest)
> Tuition cost per student: $11,413 (3rd highest)

With nearly 39,000 undergraduates, Michigan State University is one of the largest public education institutions in the country. In total, there are 392,275 full-time students enrolled at public colleges and universities in Michigan, the sixth most of any state. Despite the importance of educational institutions in the state, Michigan invests only $5,097 in higher education annually per student, far less than in the majority of other states.

40. Ohio
> Annual higher ed. spending per student:
$5,078
> 5-yr. chg.: 6.2% (10th largest increase)
> Total public college enrollment: 379,032 (8th highest)
> Tuition cost per student: $7,779 (17th highest)

Only 10 states spend less per student on higher education than Ohio. However, Ohio is ramping up investment faster than is typical. The state increased higher education investment by 18.0% last year, the largest increase of any other state except for Illinois. Enrollment levels have also declined in the Buckeye State, which helped drive up the amount spent per pupil on higher education. Enrollment in the state’s public institutions dropped by 5.7% percent in 2015 from the year before, the third most precipitous enrollment decline in the country.