Category Archives: The states


U. of North Texas Offers Fixed-Rate Tuition, With a Twist

Many colleges have fixed-rate tuition plans that lock in a student’s course costs for four years. In Texas that kind of policy is now a requirement for public colleges and universities.

But not all undergraduate students graduate in four years, adding to the time and cost it takes to earn a degree. The University of North Texas has come up with a plan that offers both fixed-rate tuition and an incentive for students to finish their degrees on time.

The “Eagle Express” plan, as it is being called…


Another Report Describes Shrinking Amount of State Money for Higher Ed

While increased federal spending for higher education faces an uphill battle in Congress, pressure is mounting from Democrats in Washington, D.C., to raise state appropriations for higher education.

A report released on Thursday by the liberal-leaning group Demos is just the latest to detail the growing cost of tuition at public colleges, along with the shrinking amount of money that state governments provide to those institutions.

Per-student state spending on public higher education shrank nea…


Report Proposes Another Way to Raise State Spending on Higher Education

With state spending on public colleges recovering slowly and tuition rates still rising, a policy-advocacy group has proposed creating a competitive federal grant program to give states incentives to increase spending on and reduce the cost of higher education.

The group, the Center for American Progress, on Tuesday released a report exploring the effects of what it called state disinvestment in public colleges and universities. In the report, the group proposed a program through which the feder…


California Policy Group Calls for a New State Higher-Ed Coordinating Agency

Just a day after the heads of California’s three state higher-education systems met to pledge increased cooperation, a policy group released a report saying that California needs a new higher-education coordinating body.

The report, released on Thursday by California Competes, argues that the state’s complex educational needs, and its three huge and very different public systems, call for “an entity with responsibility for articulating a broad public agenda for higher education.”

The authors of …


Report Proposes Federal Matching Grants for State Higher Education

As Congress begins debating the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, proposals to change how public colleges get their federal money are starting to pop up.

On Wednesday, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities released a report recommending a new federal block grant to the states for higher education. The goal of the proposed program is to give states some incentive to preserve and even raise the amount they spend on colleges, which has been in decline, and also to s…


Performance-Based Appropriations May Not Sway Student Outcomes

President Obama has suggested that the federal government start awarding money to colleges based on their academic performance. But national policy makers should  keep in mind that such a system hasn’t completely worked at the state level, according to the recommendations of a new report.

States have been experimenting with allotting small percentages of their higher-education appropriations based on performance since Tennessee started the practice, in 1978, notes the report, from the Education …


Texas A&M Pulls in $740-Million for Academics and Football

Texas A&M University announced on Monday that it had received more than $740-million in gifts and pledges for the fiscal year that concluded on August 31. It is a significant achievement, though not technically a record for a public institution since the full amount has not yet been received.

The Council for Aid to Education, which tracks gifts to colleges in its annual Voluntary Support of Education survey, counts only cash in hand, not pledges or intended bequests. An official of the Texas A&M…


Moody’s Report Forecasts a Gloomy Future for Public Universities

Things were supposed to get better after the 2012 fiscal year, the year that colleges fell off the “cliff” created as federal stimulus money for higher education ran out and state appropriations had yet to recover.

Instead, 2012 was just foreshadowing the difficult financial future that public colleges will continue to face, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, a bond-rating company.

Moody’s analysis of median fiscal data from 2012 show that enrollment at public colleges was…


North Carolina Community Colleges Unveil New Gauges of Performance

North Carolina’s community colleges now know exactly how they stack up against one another—and how much state money they can expect to receive next year.

In a report released on Wednesday, the North Carolina Community College System unveiled its “Performance Measures for Student Success,” detailing how its 58 campuses are performing in their students’ GED-passage rates, graduation rates, transfer success, and five other areas.

The measures represent the kind of drive toward accountability pushed…


Iowa Bill Bars Use of Resident Tuition Funds for Financial Aid

Iowa state legislators have passed a bill that would prohibit the state’s three public universities from using resident tuition for student financial aid. Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, is expected to sign the measure into law.

The statewide Board of Regents voted last summer to begin phasing out a set-aside program that used tuition revenue to support need-based financial aid. Under the bill, the universities overseen by the regents—Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the U…