Net Tuition Revenues, Subsidies, and Education Expenditures per Student at Public Institutions over Time

The portion of per-student educational expenditures at public four-year colleges and universities that is a subsidy to students, rather than being covered by tuition revenues, fell by $340 (4%) in 2014 dollars between 2004-05 and 2009-10 and by another $130 (2%) between 2009-10 and 2014-15.

Figure 15A: Net Tuition Revenues, Subsidies, and Education and Related Expenditures per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student in 2014 Dollars at Public Institutions, 2004-05, 2009-10, and 2014-15

Figure 15A represents Net Tuition Revenues, Subsidies, and Education and Related Expenditures per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student in 2014 Dollars at Public Institutions, 2004-05, 2009-10, and 2014-15. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data tabl

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Net tuition revenue is the amount of revenue an institution takes in from tuition and fees, net of all institutional grant aid provided to students. Some of this revenue comes in the form of Pell Grants and other financial aid from federal and state governments and other sources. Subsidies are defined as the portion of the cost of educating students not covered by net tuition revenue. Education and related expenditures include spending on instruction, student services, and the education share of spending on central academic and administrative support, as well as operations and maintenance. Expenditures for both undergraduate and graduate students are included in these estimates. Institutional averages are weighted by 12 month FTE enrollments.

SOURCES: NCES, IPEDS Finance data, 2005, 2010, and 2015; calculations by the authors.

  • The average subsidy per full-time equivalent (FTE) student at public two-year colleges fell by $920 (15%) in 2014 dollars between 2004-05 and 2009-10, but increased by $750 (14%) between 2009-10 and 2014-15 as enrollment in the sector declined.
  • Between 2004-05 and 2014-15, educational expenditures per FTE student at public four-year institutions increased by 16% in inflation-adjusted dollars. The increase over the decade in the public two-year sector was 6%.