1 Trends in College Spending Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? A report of the Delta Cost Project Supported by Lumina Foundation for Education
3 Trends in College Spending Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? Donna M. Desrochers Colleen M. Lenihan Jane V. Wellman A report of the Delta Cost Project Supported by Lumina Foundation for Education
4 Acknowledgments The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the many colleagues who contributed to this work, beginning with the leadership from the Delta Cost Project s Board of Directors, Robert Atwell, Kati Haycock, and Richard Legon; the tireless work of Deborah Friedman, our Director of Administration; and the wise counsel from the members of the project Advisory Committee Alisa Cunningham, Vice President of the Institute for Higher Education Policy; Sandra Baum, Consultant to the College Board; Patrick Kelly, Senior Associate with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; Kenneth Redd, Director of Research for the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and David Wright, Associate Executive Director of Policy, Planning and Research with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Thanks also go to our colleagues Steve Hurlburt and Rita Kirshstein at the American Institutes for Research, to Craig Bowen, Michelle Coon, and Samuel Barbett from the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS team, to Brian Zucker of Human Capital Research Corporation, and to Jim Brown and the team at Xcalibur. And a special vote of appreciation goes to Betsy Rubinstein of InForm Communications, and to the staff at CommWorks. Errors, omissions, and misinterpretations are the responsibility of the authors only. For additional copies of this report: inquiries to: Or write: Publications Delta Cost Project 1250 H Street, NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC PDF copies, including additional data not available in the print version, are available online at no charge: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Lumina Foundation for Education, its officers, or employees. Copyright 2010, Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability. Material may be duplicated with full attribution. 2 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
5 Contents Trends in college spending Introduction: History and the new normal n About the Delta IPEDS database The Delta metrics n Revenues n Spending n Spending, subsidies, and tuitions n Spending and results n Spending and equity Enrollments: Where do students attend? n enrollment patterns n The importance of enrollments to analysis of spending n Attainment versus enrollment Revenues: Where does the money come from? n Where the money comes from: Revenue sources n Policy relevance of the measures n Limitations of the metrics Spending: Where does the money go? n Major patterns in spending trends over the decade n Where the money goes: Standard expense categories n Policy relevance of the measures n Limitations of the metrics n Educational and athletic spending n SHEEO Four-State Cost Study Spending, subsidies and tuition: Who pays for what? n Patterns over the decade n Policy relevance of the measures n Limitations of the metrics Spending and results: What does the money buy? n Major findings the period n Patterns and trends in the types of degrees conferred n Policy relevance of the measures n Limitations of the metrics Spending and equity: Does the money go where students enroll? n Policy relevance of the measure Conclusion: Cost management and the new normal Appendix T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y? 3
6 List of figures Figure 1. College tuitions continue to rise at a rate faster than inflation and family incomes Figure 2. Public community colleges added the most students over the decade, but private for-profit institutions also contributed substantially to the enrollment growth Figure 3. Diversity has increased across institutional sectors Figure 4. The steadiest source of new revenue in all sectors was from tuition Figure 5. In public institutions, cuts in state and local appropriations after the 2001 recession led to tuition increases, which continued even after appropriations rebounded Figure 6. Pricing and discounting practices within institutions Figure 7. Spending levels in 2008 were generally at historic highs in most higher education sectors and spending areas Figure 8. Spending on education and related costs per student were higher in 2008 than at any time in the prior decade Figure 9. Among all types of institutions, the share of spending going toward the direct cost of instruction declined slightly Figure 10. Subsidies vary most widely in the private sector, but in both public and private sectors, the largest subsidies are found at research institutions Figure 11. States vary considerably in their subsidy strategies for different types of institutions Figure 12. Student tuitions covered more educational costs in 2008 than five or ten years earlier.. 31 Figure 13. A snapshot of state subsidy patterns for education and related expenses public research sector Figure 14. Outside the private research sector, the student share of costs is rising primarily to replace institutional subsidies and not to enable greater spending Figure 15. Public research institutions generated the most degrees in 2008, an increase of 25 percent compared to ten years earlier Figure 16. Degree productivity is highest at private institutions, on average Figure 17. Public and private master s institutions appear to be the most cost-effective institutions when considering degree productivity Figure 18. Institutions serving the most students spend the least amount on their education Data appendix: Figure A1. Average revenues per FTE student, AY Figure A2. Average expenditures per FTE student, AY Figure A3. A snapshot of state subsidy patterns for education and related expenses public master s sector Figure A4. A snapshot of state subsidy patterns for education and related expenses community colleges T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
7 Introduction: History and the new normal Trends in College Spending, : Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? is the third in a series of reports on college and university spending from the Delta Cost Project. The findings presented in this report concentrate on the 1998 to 2008 time period the last academic year for which spending data are available, and what in retrospect may turn out to be a high point in funding for higher education. The Great Recession that began in the middle of the 2008 academic year falls outside of the time period covered in this report. We know that fund- ing has fallen since then, leading to budget cuts that are reported to be heaviest in the public sector and in those private institutions that had come to be dependent on investment earnings for operating funds. Unlike earlier recessions, when revenues were expected to rebound within a few years, the consensus now is that the new normal means that higher education has seen a permanent reduction of roughly 10 percent of its revenue base more in some areas of the country, less in others money that won t be coming back, and can t realistically be made up in tuition increases. Trends in college spending Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? Can cost data that are now two years old shed any light on the decisions that must be made now? We think so: the patterns of higher education finance are quite durable, and there is much to be learned from data that are contextualized through comparative and historic analyses. Looking backwards, we can see that the fault lines so amply revealed by the Great Recession had been building for some time: n Sharp increases in spending in the first part of the decade among a handful of private institutions, fueled by unprecedented growth in investment revenues; n Cyclical funding of state and local appropriations for public institutions: up in good times, down in bad, with spending cuts following recessions falling heaviest on the instructional function; n No evidence of permanent cost restructuring in either public or private institutions, instead a pattern of cost shifting to student tuition revenues in times of economic downturn; n Growing stratification of wealth separating public and private institutions, with the institutions serving the majority of students having the least to invest in their success; and T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y? 5
8 About the Delta Cost Project IPEDS database The data in this report were drawn from the Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, which was developed using publicly available data reported to the federal government through annual IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) surveys on higher education finance, enrollments, completions, and student aid. Adjustments were made to harmonize and standardize the data as much as possible to account for changes over time in accounting standards and IPEDS reporting formats. These adjustments ensure reasonable consistency in the patterns over time and allow broad comparisons between public and private institutions. The data are standardized by FTE enrollments and adjusted for inflation to further facilitate these comparisons. All of the fiscal trends presented in this report were produced using a consistent panel (or matched set ) of institutions. This ensures that variations in spending across time are not explained by differences in the number of institutions reporting data. More than 2,000 institutions are included in the 11-year matched set ( ) used in this report, which collectively accounts for about 90 percent of two- and four-year institutions in the public and private, nonprofit sectors. The data are organized into Carnegie 2005 classifications to distinguish between research, comprehensive or master s institutions, community colleges, and baccalaureate institutions, and also between the public and private, nonprofit sectors. The institutions are classified as follows: 1) public research 152 institutions 2) public master s 231 institutions 3) public community colleges (associate s) 785 institutions 4) private research 100 institutions 5) private master s 317 institutions 6) private bachelor s 471 institutions For ease of data presentation, private nonprofit two-year colleges, public bachelor s, as well as tribal and specialty schools are excluded since fewer students are enrolled in these institution sectors. The classification presented is the best way to organize the data for national reports such as this, although it may not translate well to the governing structures used in many public institutions. Institution-level data available in our web-based data system Trends in College Spending Online (www.tcs-online.org) can be aggregated to the state level. As in most cost studies, this report focuses only on operating budgets and excludes spending on building or capital improvement projects. Financial data for the for-profit 6 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
9 private sector are also not included in this report because their data are not consistently reported. Improving the quality and reliability of public data about revenues and spending for this important and growing sector should be a priority for future federal attention to improvements in the IPEDS financial files. n A continuous shift to ever-higher student tuitions, which is the one constant across all of postsecondary education. The data in this report also help to remind us that the funding cuts that came in 2009 and 2010 occurred on a base that, in many institutions, were at historic highs. As we collectively try to find our way to the new normal, we need to recognize that a return to the pre-recession levels of spending is neither realistic, nor for the most part necessary to ensure adequate funding. The question ahead is how to best allocate available resources to accomplish public goals for higher education. That will require more attention from policy makers and institutional leaders to spending, and to the regular use of data to guide decisions about where funds are spent. We hope the metrics presented in this report are useful tools to help support this necessary new focus. The Delta metrics Most financial reports in higher education present either balance sheets (year-end revenues against expenses), or budgets (projected spending), neither of which tells us much about where the money comes from, where it goes, and what it buys. For policy makers be they board members or state legislators these fiscal presentations offer no help in putting information into context, to enable them to get some sense of proportionality and ask the critical questions about funding adequacy and efficiency. How the money is spent is something that remains shrouded in too much mystery. What the public and most policy makers can see is that, whatever else happens, college tuitions continue to go up at a rate faster than inflation and family incomes with no discernible pay-off in quality, opportunity, or results (see Figure 1, next page). And as a result, public skepticism about higher education spending and the values that are implicit in institutional decisions about spending is at an all-time high. 1 Improving cost accountability in higher education lies, in part, in the metrics of cost analysis, and organizing information to shine a light on where the money comes from, where it goes, and what it buys. To advance the discussion, the Delta Project has organized data already in 1 Immerwahr, John, Jean Johnson, Amber Ott, and Jonathan Rochkind Public Agenda, Squeeze Play 2010: Continued Public Anxiety on Costs, Harsher Judgments on How Colleges Are Run. National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and Public Agenda. Available at T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y? 7
10 Figure 1 College tuitions continue to rise at a rate faster than inflation and family incomes Cumulative change in the price of college, (current dollar change) Public four-year Private four-year Public two-year Prescription drugs New car Median family income Overall inflation (CPI-U) 350% % % % % % % % $1,988 $1,989 $1,990 $1,991 $1,992 $1,993 $1,994 $1,995 $1,996 $1,997 $1,998 $1,999 $2,000 $2,001 $2,002 $2,003 $2,004 $2,005 $2,006 $2,007 $2,008 Sources: College Board, Trends in College Pricing, Available at (Table 4a); U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census Historical Income Tables, Families. Available at incfamdet.html (Table F-6, All Races); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index Databases. Available at gov/cpi/. the public domain, through the federal IPEDS program, into the aggregate measures presented in this report. All of the metrics are designed to put financial figures into context by adjusting them for student enrollment and for inflation. 2 These metrics can be applied to individual institutions or aggregated into sector-level measures at both the national and state levels, allowing policy makers to compare institutions or state systems around the country, and to look within state systems to see how institutions compare against one another. 3 The metrics include: Revenues 1. Revenues by source 2. Net tuition compared against state and local appropriations 3. Sticker price, gross tuition, net tuition differences 2 Enrollments are adjusted per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student enrolled, and inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). Analysts preferring to use a different inflation adjustor, either the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) or the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA), may find this option at 3 Data for individual institutions and the national-level data described in this report are available at state data are available at 8 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
11 Spending 4. Spending by standard expense categories 5. Total spending by aggregated expense categories, including education and related (E&R) expenditures and education and general (E&G) expenditures 6. The proportion of education and related spending going to pay for instruction and student services Spending, subsidies, and tuitions 7. Subsidy share versus student share of education and related costs 8. Tuition increases compared against spending and subsidy shifts Spending and results 9. Total degrees and completions relative to enrollments 10. Education and related spending per graduate or other completers Spending and equity 11. Spending compared against enrollment Enrollments: Where do students attend? Enrollment patterns provide important context for the revenue and spending trends described throughout this report because they underlie the standardized financial data that are presented later enrollment patterns Enrollment in U.S. postsecondary institutions totaled almost 18.6 million students in the 2008 academic year, a nearly 26 percent increase over the ten-year period beginning in While enrollment growth was somewhat faster in the first half of the decade, close to a half a million more students enrolled in the year alone. Public community colleges added the most students over the decade, but private for-profit institutions also contributed substantially to the enrollment growth. Although traditional public and private not-for-profit institutions still serve the vast majority of students, private for-profit institutions grew the fastest between 1998 and 2008, averaging growth of 12 percent per year and tripling the number of students enrolled from about 400,000 in 1998 to approximately 1.25 million students in 2008 (see Figure 2, next page). However, community colleges still added the most new students, increasing enrollments by 1.26 million, to enroll a total of 6.3 million students in Full-time and undergraduate students were the primary drivers of enrollment growth. The largest source of enrollment growth between 1998 and 2008 was among full-time students, unlike T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y? 9
12 Undergraduates Graduates First-professional Figure 2 Public community colleges added the most students over the decade, but private for-profit institutions also contributed substantially to the enrollment growth Total enrollment by institutional sector and student level, AY (in millions) Fi G U Public Research Public Master's Community Colleges Private Research Private Master's Private Bachelor's Private for-profit Other Research Master s Community Research Master s Bachelor s For-profit Other C college Public institutions Private institutions Note: Other includes public baccalaureate, private associate s, and all specialty, tribal, less than two-year, and unclassified institutions. Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, , unmatched set. patterns from the prior two decades when part-time and older enrollments grew relatively faster. Full-time enrollments increased by nearly 2.9 million (33 percent) over the period while part-time student enrollment only increased by 913,000 (15 percent). Enrollments increased across all levels of education; undergraduate enrollment grew by nearly 3.2 million students (25 percent), graduate enrollment by almost 550,000 students (31 percent), and enrollment in first-professional programs increased by 56,000 students (19 percent). The overall ratio of undergraduate to graduate and professional enrollments has remained fairly steady, however. The U.S. student population has become more diverse since 1998 and this diversity is reflected across college campuses in all sectors. More students from all racial/ethnic groups have been enrolling in postsecondary education than ten years ago, but some groups have been growing quicker than others causing a noticeable shift in the makeup of the student population. n White students share of total enrollments has decreased by 8.6 percentage points since 1998, as Black, Hispanic, and Asian students have accounted for increasing proportions of 10 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
13 Figure 3 Diversity has increased across institutional sectors Fall headcount enrollment by race/ethnicity, AY (in millions) % 5.5% 8.1% 10.4% 10.1% 5.6% 8.1% 10.4% 9.1% 5.7% 8.5% 10.7% 9.7% 5.8% 9.0% 11.0% 10.5% 5.9% 9.3% 11.1% 11.0% 5.9% 9.5% 11.3% 10.9% 5.8% 9.6% 11.6% 11.1% 5.8% 9.9% 11.8% 11.2% 5.9% 10.1% 11.9% 11.8% 5.9% 10.3% 12.0% 12.1% 6.0% 10.6% 12.1% Other Asian Hispanic Black White Other Asian Hispanic Black White % 65.8% 66.1% 64.6% 63.3% 62.3% 62.1% 61.4% 60.9% 60.0% 59.2% Note: Other includes: American Indian, Alaska native, non-resident, and unknown. Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, , unmatched set. postsecondary enrollments (see Figure 3). This increasing in diversity has occurred quite evenly across institutional sectors. n Growth rates for each of the racial/ethnic groups were largely consistent over the past ten years with Hispanic enrollment growth averaging 5 percent per year, Black enrollment growth averaging 4 percent per year, and Asian enrollment growth averaging 3 percent per year each of which outpaced the 1 percent average annual growth in White enrollments. Despite lower growth rates, White students still had the largest numeric increase in enrollments with 974,000 additional students entering postsecondary institutions. n Community colleges have consistently enrolled the largest share of students overall (34 percent). While just over one-third of White, Black, and Asian students were enrolled in community colleges in 2008, these institutions served nearly one-half of all Hispanic students. The importance of enrollments to analysis of spending Enrollment-adjusted funding trends show very different patterns than when looking at total revenues or expenditures alone. For instance, total unadjusted revenues from state and local appropriations increased by 57 percent over the ten-year period in this report. 4 Adjusted for 4 These figures are computed only for the institutions in the Delta 11-year matched set. T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y? 11
14 Attainment versus enrollment Declining postsecondary attainment rates for the United States have received considerable policy and media attention, and have factored into the Obama administration s call to return the United States to a position of international leadership in educational attainment by the year The metric is confusing to many, since it isn t clear why U.S. attainment rates are declining despite increases in enrollments. Attainment is a measure of the proportion of the population that has attained some level of education, while enrollment measures the number of students participating. If, for example, population grows and institutions increase enrollments to keep pace with population growth, then enrollments will increase, but attainment rates may not. To increase attainment rates, institutions need to increase enrollments at a rate faster than the population is increasing, or increase the proportion of students who complete degrees. If enrollments fail to keep pace with population increases, or if fewer students complete a certificate or a degree, then attainment rates will not increase. Attainment is a relatively new concept to higher education planning, and its prominence reflects the increasingly international world that we live within. Attainment measures are commonly used to compare postsecondary performance in international comparisons, such as those used by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For more information on attainment, and to see how the United States compares to other countries, see the OECD Education at a Glance, inflation, the increase drops to 19 percent, and if adjusted again for increases in FTE enrollments, to just 6 percent. Understanding this helps explain why state appropriators may see higher education finance differently than institutional leaders: from their perspective, they are giving a lot more money to higher education each year and in most states, this is true. But when inflation and enrollment increases are factored in, this seemingly generous increase whittles down very rapidly. Revenues: Where does the money come from? Revenue patterns and trends show the shifts in the sources of revenue, and also provide context for evaluating spending since revenue sources often dictate how the money can be used. The main revenue metrics include: 1. Total operating revenues by major sources; 12 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
15 2. The interaction between net tuition revenues and state and local appropriations, a pertinent measure for public institutions; and 3. Patterns of tuition discounting, showing the difference between sticker price, gross and net tuition revenues. Where the money comes from: Revenue sources n Net tuition revenue: Total revenue from tuition and fees, excluding institutional grant aid. n State and local appropriations: Revenues received through state or local legislative organizations (except grants, contracts, and capital appropriations). n Private and affiliated gifts, investment returns, and endowment income (PIE): Private gifts include revenues received from private donors, affiliated entities, or from private contracts for specific goods or services provided by the institution that are directly related to instruction, research, public service, or other institutional purposes. Investment revenues are from interest income, dividend income, rental income, or royalty income. Endowment income is generally income from trusts held by others, and income from endowments and similar funds. n State and local grants and contracts: Revenues from state or local government agencies for training programs or similar activities that are either received or are reimbursable under a contract or grant. n Federal appropriations, grants, and contracts: The total amount of revenue coming from federal appropriations, grants, and contracts. n Auxiliary enterprises: Revenues generated by, or collected from, auxiliary enterprise operations of the institution that furnish a service to students, faculty, or staff, and that charge a fee related to the cost of service. These are generally self supporting activities such as residence halls, food services, student health services, and intercollegiate athletics. n Hospitals, independent operations, and other sources: Revenue generated by hospitals operated by the postsecondary institution. Revenues associated with the medical school are not included. Independent operations include revenues associated with operations independent or unrelated to instruction, research, or public services and generally include only revenues from major federally funded research and development centers. Other sources include miscellaneous revenues not covered elsewhere. T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y? 13
16 There are four notable trends in revenue that dominate the period: 1. Per capita revenues increased across all of higher education, but there was considerable volatility in both state and local appropriations and private investment returns. The steadiest source of new revenue in all sectors was from tuition (see Figure 4). Research institutions also saw notable gains in federal funds, and in auxiliary enterprises and hospitals. If revenues from auxiliaries and federal funds are subtracted from other operating revenues, almost half of the total revenues disappear from the bottom lines for research universities. 2. In public institutions, cuts in state and local appropriations after the 2001 recession gave rise to tuition increases, which continued even when appropriations later rebounded. State and local appropriations per student varied considerably over the period, with reductions following recessions and growth in the subsequent recovery. State and local appropriations were at an all-time high in most public institutions between 1998 and 2001, and declined through 2005 prior to a slow recovery to nearly pre-recession levels in 2008 (see Figure 5). As state and local appropriations declined in the mid-2000s, revenues from student tuitions increased. Although the rate of tuition increases slowed in as state revenues returned, tuitions continued to rise among public four-year institutions, but not in community colleges. Figure 4 The steadiest source of new revenue in all sectors was from tuition Total revenues per FTE student, AY (in 2008 dollars) Net tuition State and local appropriations Private and affiliated gifts, investment returns, and endowment income Federal appropriations and federal, state, and local grants and contracts Auxiliary enterprises, hospitals, independent operations, and other sources $100k $80k $60k $40k $20k Priva Auxil Fede State Net t $ Research master s Community college Research master s Bachelor s 0 Public institutions Private institutions Public Research Public Community Master's Private Colleges Research Private Master's Private Bachelor's Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, , 11-year matched set. 14 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT d o e s i t B U Y?
17 Figure 5 In public institutions, cuts in state and local appropriations after the 2001 recession led to tuition increases, which continued even after appropriations rebounded Net tuition revenues and state and local appropriations per FTE student, AY (in 2008 dollars) $12, Net tuition $10, $8, Public Research Public Master's State and local Community Colleges appropriations 6000 $6, $4, Recession 2000 $2, $ Research master s Community college Public institutions Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, , 11-year matched set Despite access to significant resources from Public Master's gifts, investments, and endowment income in many Community Colleges 8000 private institutions, tuitions continued to increase. The beginning of the period saw an almost 8000 explosive growth in revenue from PIE private gifts, investment and endowment income 6000 most evident among private 6000 research universities. These revenues are cyclical, and dipped 4000 somewhat with the 2001 recession, 4000 to return again between 2004 and 2007 before a sharp 2000 drop in These institutions 2000 continued to increase tuitions each year despite having access 0 to these resources, albeit at lower rates but higher dollar values than in the public 0 sector. The PIE category includes unrealized earnings from investments; however, as the spending trends make evident, at least some of these resources clearly went into paying for much higher spending among institutions. 4. Public and private institutions tend to use different strategies to maximize tuition revenues. In public institutions, gross tuition revenue per student (before discounts) has increased more rapidly than revenues from sticker prices alone suggesting that these institutions increasingly turned to different types of tuition surcharges or out-of-state students to Community Colleges maximize tuition revenues. The gap between the average sticker prices and average gross 8000 tuition revenues per student has increased steadily across the 1998 to 2008 period at each 6000 type of public institution, but increased by more than $950 (to $2,765) at public research 4000 institutions, growing by more than 4 percent per year (see Figure 6, next page). At private 2000 institutions, the tuition patterns are reversed and sticker prices are routinely higher than either gross or net tuition indicating they provide significant tuition discounts to students. 0 Tuition discounting, estimated by the difference between gross and net tuition revenue, increased everywhere, but remains steepest among private bachelor s institutions. T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT d o e s i t B U Y? 15
18 Figure 6 Pricing and discounting practices within institutions Pricing versus revenues, AY (in 2008 dollars) Public research sector change Sticker price $4,315 $5,099 $6,433 $6,518 $2,202 Gross tuition revenue $6,128 $7,335 $9,053 $9,283 $3,154 Net tuition revenue $5,195 $6,036 $7,411 $7,563 $2,369 Tuition discount rate 15% 17% 18% 18% 3% Public master s sector Sticker price $3,624 $4,176 $5,189 $5,314 $1,690 Gross tuition revenue $4,421 $5,108 $6,208 $6,363 $1,941 Net tuition revenue $3,999 $4,507 $5,492 $5,607 $1,608 Tuition discount rate 10% 13% 12% 12% 2% Community colleges sector Sticker price $1,806 $2,009 $2,350 $2,343 $536 Gross tuition revenue $2,365 $2,784 $3,219 $3,242 $877 Net tuition revenue $2,202 $2,577 $2,983 $2,992 $790 Tuition discount rate 11% 10% 10% 11% 0% Private research sector Sticker price $21,966 $25,079 $27,945 $28,527 $6,561 Gross tuition revenue $21,556 $24,729 $27,272 $27,739 $6,183 Net tuition revenue $16,343 $18,203 $19,586 $19,836 $3,493 Tuition discount rate 24% 25% 27% 27% 3% Private master s sector Sticker price $15,625 $18,160 $20,472 $20,952 $5,327 Gross tuition revenue $14,989 $17,188 $19,085 $19,352 $4,363 Net tuition revenue $11,853 $13,043 $14,224 $14,332 $2,479 Tuition discount rate 23% 24% 25% 26% 3% Private bachelor s sector Sticker price $16,257 $18,629 $20,663 $21,148 $4,891 Gross tuition revenue $15,598 $18,284 $20,317 $20,724 $5,126 Net tuition revenue $10,751 $12,253 $13,297 $13,515 $2,764 Tuition discount rate 35% 32% 34% 34% -1% Note: At public four-year institutions, sticker price is the average in-state tuition and fees for undergraduates; at public community colleges, sticker price is the average in-district tuition and fees. Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, , 11-year matched set. 16 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
19 Policy relevance of the measures Looking at the interaction between revenues and spending forces policy maker attention to questions of management control over institutional spending, and whether discretionary spending decisions are consistent with institutional priorities. Since so much of the revenue coming into higher education goes to pay for something other than teaching and learning, it is important to develop revenue measures that help to focus on resources that pay for the core academic enterprise. Looking at revenue patterns over time helps states, systems, and institutions to answer questions such as: n Where are revenues growing, and are these resources available for discretionary spending, or are they largely sequestered for specific purposes? n Is tuition discounting eroding discretionary spending capability? What students get the tuition discounts? What are the criteria determining who gets the discounts? n History shows that the major non-tuition revenue sources fluctuate widely in all types of institutions. Is the institution building adequate reserves against future fluctuations in income, to forestall the need for tuition increases when revenues inevitably decline? n What is the relation between public or tax-supported operating revenues and tuition revenues? Is the institution becoming more or less tuition dependent, and what are the implications of these trends for future attainment goals? Limitations of the metrics Revenue measures are confined to operating resources, and exclude revenues and spending for capital outlay. The exclusion of capital resources understates total revenue availability, and hence total costs. There may be inconsistency between institutions in how some revenue sources are classified, in particular how private gifts, investment, and endowment returns are classified. By aggregating these three revenue sources into a composite measure, which we call PIE, we hope to compensate for these discrepancies. Spending: Where does the money go? We look at spending several different ways, as each lens sheds a slightly different light on the overall patterns: 1. Spending by standard expense categories; 2. Spending aggregated by: total expenditures, education and general (E&G) expenditures, and education and related (E&R) expenditures; and 3. The proportion of education and related spending going to pay for instruction and student services. T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT d o e s i t B U Y? 17
20 Figure 7 Spending levels in 2008 were generally at historic highs in most higher education sectors and spending areas Spending per FTE student by standard expense categories, AY (in 2008 dollars) 10-year change Public research sector Dollars Percent Instruction $8,837 $9,112 $9,516 $9,732 $ % Research $4,528 $5,311 $5,504 $5,567 $1, % Student services $1,097 $1,203 $1,283 $1,318 $ % Public service $1,635 $1,834 $1,872 $1,912 $ % Academic support $2,400 $2,342 $2,534 $2,775 $ % Institutional support $2,049 $2,121 $2,339 $2,456 $ % Operations and maintenance $1,704 $1,859 $2,173 $2,147 $ % 10-year change Public master s sector Dollars Percent Instruction $5,738 $5,916 $6,035 $6,209 $ % Research $449 $466 $668 $664 $ % Student services $1,150 $1,219 $1,311 $1,365 $ % Public service $501 $629 $634 $629 $ % Academic support $1,344 $1,380 $1,439 $1,490 $ % Institutional support $1,807 $1,982 $1,999 $2,055 $ % Operations and maintenance $1,298 $1,448 $1,628 $1,661 $ % 10-year change Public community college sector Dollars Percent Instruction $5,043 $4,880 $5,131 $5,216 $ % Research $51 $55 $53 $50 $0-0.4% Student services $1,127 $1,157 $1,232 $1,234 $ % Public service $379 $393 $354 $367 -$12-3.2% Academic support $946 $912 $957 $982 $37 3.9% Institutional support $1,709 $1,659 $1,799 $1,863 $ % Operations and maintenance $1,097 $1,145 $1,269 $1,273 $ % Source: Delta Cost Project IPEDS database, , 11-year matched set. We first look at dollar and percent change within the standard IPEDS expense categories, to see where spending is going up faster or slower than in other categories. Since there is some discrepancy among institutions in how expenses are reported to IPEDS, we then repack these categories, first to exclude spending for auxiliaries (which results in what many institutions report as education and general expenses), and then again to exclude sponsored research, public service, and net scholarships/fellowships (see Appendix for additional explanation). This last measure, what we call education and related (or E&R) expenses, is a proxy for the full cost of education, as it includes both direct spending for instruction and student services, and an estimate of the support and maintenance costs going to support the instructional function. Once we have derived the E&R figure, we then look at the constituent elements within it, 18 T r e n d s i n c o l l e g e s p e n d i n g : W h e r e d o e s t h e m o n e y c o m e f r o m? W h e r e d o e s i t g o? W H AT D O E S I T B U Y?
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