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State Support for Higher Education per Full-Time Equivalent Student (Dollars)

State Indicator S-28

Public universities rely on state support for a substantial share of their operating revenues, most of which support their education function. The amount of funding provided per full-time equivalent (FTE) student in public universities is an indicator of a state’s investment in the education of its students. Data are drawn from the annual State Higher Education Finance report produced by the association of State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). SHEEO collects data on all state and local revenues used to support higher education, including revenue from taxes, lottery receipts, royalty revenue, and state-funded endowments. This indicator also takes into account FTE enrollment in public higher education, which is calculated from the aggregate number of enrolled credit hours (including summer session enrollments but excluding most noncredit or nondegree program enrollments and medical school enrollments). This measure is equivalent to one student enrolled full time for one academic year. The year is the end date of the academic year. For example, data for 2015 represent costs and enrollment for the 2014–15 academic year.

State funds are one of many sources of public university revenue. This indicator does not include changes in these other sources of revenue.

Data source: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, State Higher Education Finance.

  • 1st Quartile

  • 2nd Quartile

  • 3rd Quartile

  • 4th Quartile

  • No data


NA = not available.

NOTES: State support for higher education excludes special purpose appropriations for research, agricultural extension programs, and medical education (RAM). FTE enrollment includes only enrollment at public higher education institutions and equates student credit hours to full-time, academic-year students but excludes medical students.

SOURCE: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, State Higher Education Finance (various years), data available as of May 2020.

Recommended Citation: National Science Board. “State Support for Higher Education per Full-Time Equivalent Student.” Science and Engineering Indicators: State Indicators. Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation. Accessed on [date of user access].

Last updated: November 30, 2020