Report: La. posts biggest increase in per-student higher education spending since '86
Despite cutbacks in higher education spending in recent years, Louisiana has spent an average of $77 more per student each year—the most of any state over the past 25 years—according to a new report from a nonprofit group tracking state funding of higher education. The report, by the State Higher Education Executive Officers group, says Louisiana was also one of only 10 states to post an increase in per-student spending since 1986. Louisiana's per-student spending peaked in 2008 at $8,165; it bottomed out in 1995 at $4,911. Since 2008 the state has scaled back its spending on higher education, and in 2011 spending was at $6,904 per student. Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute tells American Public Media—which is highlighting the report today with an interactive map—that state involvement with higher education is the reason college costs are escalating so quickly. He says that because the federal government provides grants and loans to prospective students, colleges and universities have an incentive to raise tuition to capture that cash. Read the full story and explore an interactive map with info on all U.S. states' spending per student here.
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