Inside Higher Ed
June 12th, 2015
Federal spending has surpassed state spending as the main source of
public funding in higher education, and the primary reason is a surge in
Pell Grants in the last decade.
Federal and state funds have different missions. The majority of
state funding is used to fund specific public institutions, whereas
federal funding is generally awarded through student aid and research
grants. State funding goes primarily to public institutions, while
federal funding goes to students at public, private and for-profit
colleges, and to researchers at public and private universities.
Historically, state funding has been heftier than federal funding. In
the 25 years leading up to 2012, states spent 65 percent more on higher
education than the federal government.