Total and per FTE Student State Appropriations and Public Enrollment over Time

In 2012-13, public colleges and universities received an average of $6,646 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student in state funding — 27% less than the $9,111 (in 2012 dollars) per FTE student they received five years earlier.

Figure 14B: State Appropriations for Higher Education: Total Appropriations in 2012 Dollars (in Billions), Appropriations per Public FTE Student in 2012 Dollars (in Thousands), and Public FTE Enrollment (in Millions), 1982-83 to 2012-13
Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Enrollment figures are fall FTE enrollments for public two-year and four-year institutions. Enrollment for fall 2012 was estimated based on preliminary IPEDS numbers. Appropriations reported here are for institutional operating expenses, not for capital expenditures. Funding includes both tax revenues and other state funds allocated to higher education.

SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Illinois State University, Grapevine reports; NCES, Digest of Education Statistics 2012, Table 253; NCES, IPEDS preliminary fall 2012 enrollment data; calculations by the authors.

  • Total state appropriations declined by 19%, from $88.7 billion in 2007-08 (in 2012 dollars) to $72.0 billion in 2012-13, while FTE enrollment in public institutions increased by 11% over these five years.
  • Federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act supplemented state funds over three fiscal years, increasing state appropriations (in 2012 dollars) by $2.4 billion in 2008-09, $4.8 billion in 2009-10, and $3.0 billion in 2010-11.
  • Total FTE enrollment in public two-year and four-year colleges and universities grew by 15% from 1982-83 to 1992-93 and by another 15% from 1992-93 to 2002-03. Estimated enrollment growth was 19% over the most recent decade.