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Friday, September 28, 2012

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Interesting spin, but in looking at the source document, the current overall level of state support for state universities has just (during this recession) fallen back to the early 1990's level, measured in constant dollars.

Further: "The Federal Government has been the primary source of funding for academic R&D for over half a century. Federal funding for S&E R&D continued to increase at an average of 4.8 percent (constant 2005 dollars) from 2000 to 2009 when it provided 59 percent of academic spending on S&E R&D. However, it has been relatively flat over the 5-year period from 2004 to 2009, increasing by only 0.8 percent. The Federal Government also provides funding for S&E workforce development. In 2009, the Federal Government funded 63 percent of S&E graduate students on traineeships, 49 percent of those with research assistantships, and 23 percent with fellowships."

Finally: "Federal student aid has increased 164 percent since AY 2000-01 (inflation adjusted dollars). Total Federal aid from grants and loans for students attending all higher education institutions reached $169 billion in AY 2010-11, and undergraduate FTE students received an average of $12,455 in financial aid."

I'd conclude that neither universities nor students are starved for funds. State university allocations grew during good times, and shrank during hard times...because unlike the Feds, the states can't print money to pay current obligations. It would appear that the Feds have helped to mitigate state "shortfalls" through steady R&D funding and vastly increased student aid.

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