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State Funding for Higher Education, U.S.

In the United States, responsibility for higher education rests primarily with subnational governments, namely, the states. The 50 U.S. states predominantly, though not exclusively, oversee, regulate, and fund higher education. States generally fund higher education through budget allocations that contribute to the operating costs of public institutions, subsidize tuition and fee prices for students, and aid various institutional programs and research efforts through grants and contracts. The amount and manner through which states provide financial support toward higher education varies throughout the United States, as funding decisions are often influenced by economic conditions, political factors, and the coordination and governance structure of a state’s higher education system. This entry provides an overview of state funding for higher education, explores 20th- and 21st-century trends in state ...

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