Long-term state disinvestment in public higher education is one major driver of the rising cost of college and the attendant rise in student debt. For decades, state support for public colleges and universities — which enroll 76 percent of students — has fallen.

To reverse this trend, we urge policymakers to create a new federal-state partnership to invest in equitably funded public colleges. Through this new partnership, the federal government would send significant new funding to states to equip them to better support public institutions, with the goals of increasing educational quality, reducing net costs for students, closing racial and economic equity gaps in degree attainment, stabilizing state funding across economic cycles, and providing evidence-based support and advising programs to help more students complete a degree.

Related Materials