SHEF — State Higher Education Finance

Webinar for new data providers on the 2014-15 data collection process

View this year's SHEF Report and related tables and figures, FY 2013

View the 2013 Grapevine Compilation of State Fiscal Support for Higher Education

State Higher Education Finance Report

Financing higher education requires political leaders, policymakers, and educators to address broad public policy questions, including:

• What levels of state funding to colleges and universities are necessary to maintain the economic and social well-being of the American people?
• What tuition levels are appropriate given the costs of higher education, its benefits to individuals, and the desirability of encouraging participation and improving degree and certificate attainment?
• What level of student financial assistance is necessary to provide meaningful educational opportunities to students from low- and moderate-income families?
• How might colleges and universities use available resources to increase productivity without impairing the quality of services to students?

The State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) report is produced annually by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) to broaden understanding of the context and consequences of multiple decisions made every year in each of these areas. No single report can provide definitive answers to such broad and fundamental questions of public policy, but the SHEF report provides information to help inform such decisions. The report includes:   

• An Overview and Highlights of national trends and the current status of state funding for higher education;
• An explanation of the Measures, Methods, and Analytical Tools used in the report;
• A description of the Revenue Sources and Uses for higher education, including state tax and non-tax revenue, local tax support, tuition revenue, and the proportion of this funding available for general educational support;
• An analysis of National Trends in Enrollment and Revenue, in particular, changes over time in the public resources available for general operating support;
• Interstate Comparisons—Making Sense of Many Variables, using tables, charts, and graphs to compare data amongstates and over time; and
• Indicators of Relative State Wealth, Tax Effort, and Allocations for Higher Education, along with ways to take these factors into account in making interstate comparisons.

The SHEF report provides the earliest possible review of state and local support, tuition revenue, and enrollment trends for the most recent fiscal year.

Current SHEF Report


Past SHEF Reports


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