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FIGURE PHE-1 Distribution of BA-granting institutions, by sector.

SOURCE: S. Turner. “Policy Implications of Changing Funding for Public Higher Education.” Presentation to National Academies’ Board on Higher Education and Workforce, April 2005.


Public higher education is under severe financial pressures. The first source of pressure is increasing enrollments. The children of the baby boom are now reaching college age and will increase enrollments at some institutions over the coming decade (see Figures PHE-3A, B, and C). At the same time, the value of higher education as a means for students and society to achieve economic, social, and political goals also is boosting enrollments. Because public institutions typically do not charge students for the full cost of their education, the financial demands on these institutions are expected to grow significantly.1

A second stress on the system is the growing cost of higher education. Costs per student in higher education have grown consistently since the 1960s and steeply since the 1970s.2 Both internal and external factors ap-


R. C. Dickeson. Collision Course: Rising College Costs Threaten America’s Future and Require Shared Solutions. Indianapolis, IN: Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc., 2004.


J. L. Dionne and T. Kean. Breaking the Social Contract: The Fiscal Crisis in Higher Education. Report of the Commission on National Investment in Higher Education. New York: Council for Aid to Education, 1997.

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