While some economists see the national economy poised to come back, state budgets and economies aren’t yet in the clear, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) and National Governors Association (NGA) 2013 Fiscal Survey of States.
As it is, New Englanders pay just $179 per capita toward higher education, compared with $230 per capita nationally.
The NASBO and NGA survey projects some tough state budget decisions in FY 2014 and beyond. Continued high unemployment and slow expected revenue growth—combined with spending pressures in healthcare, education, and other areas put on hold during the recession—mean that there’s a lot of catching up to do.
How will this impact students and families? It’s hard to tell if the affordability crisis in higher education will be solved anytime soon. Certainly, tuition and fees in the near future may continue to rise at a rate that outpaces growth in student aid programs, meaning that over time, students and families pay more even when financial aid is taken into account.
For a snapshot of New England postsecondary tuition and fees, financial aid, and state appropriation levels, check out the recently updated Trends & Indicators Finance Figures.