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Higher Education Finance

Federal data show that in 2011 (the most recent year for which data are available) postsecondary degree-granting institutions in the United States spent $483 billion to provide educational programs and services to some 21 million students in 4,726 different institutions. These colleges and universities are very diverse, ranging from highly prestigious private research universities such as Yale University and Stanford University to large public research institutions including the University of California, to 4-year public institutions whose mission is primarily teaching, to small private liberal arts colleges and hundreds of locally governed 2-year community colleges. The way these institutions are financed varies as much as the different types of institutions. Yet today, despite this variation, there is a general sense that the costs of college education ...

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