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States Investing More in Higher Ed., New Report Shows

After years of budgets cuts for public colleges and universities following the recession, state funding for higher education is up an average of 5.7 percent in the current fiscal year 2013-2014.

The annual Grapevine report, released Monday by Illinois State University, was encouraging news to students and their families, many of whom have been relying more heavily on students to make up the shortfall as tuition rises.

Last year, state higher ed funding was down 0.4 percent, and the year before it dropped on average 7.6 percent.

Still, overall funding is not back to pre-recession levels and there is no guarantee that an increase in money will be passed on to cost savings for students. But the report reflects an improving economic picture nationwide.

Support for higher education varies widely by state, with Florida increasing funding by nearly 18 percent, New Hampshire by 27 percent, and North Dakota by 19 percent in the past year, according to the report.  Louisiana and West Virginia are among states that have declining state funding.

The report includes a table that shows funding levels by state and the percent change in the past one, two and five years.

The Grapevine report is a first look at funding levels for fiscal year 2014. It is based on estimates from September 2013 to January 2014. Figures may be revised when the State Higher Education Executive Officers come out with their report soon.

After years of budget cuts for public colleges and universities, state funding for higher education is up an average of 5.7 perent in the current budget year.

A new Grapevine report released Monday from Illinois State Universityhy

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