5 state higher education budget proposals to watch

The start of the year marks a budget season for many states, and governors across the country have made spending proposals.

Although many of these plans have not been finalized, they involve a significant increase in public funding for higher education. This is partly because federal coronavirus assistance to local and state governments has improved budget estimates, leaving the state coffers omitted. Public investment in higher education in the 2022 fiscal year is expected to grow by more than 8% over the previous year, according to the latest Grapevine forecastthat doesn’t even take into account federal aid.

However, the survey also does not take into account rising inflation, which is likely to eat up this increase. Inflation rates and declining entrants in many regions need to be considered when analyzing state budget proposals, said Tom Harnish, vice president of public relations for the State Association of Heads of Higher Education.

Below we have summarized a sample of budget plans that should be monitored as they progress in the legislative process.


Governor J. B. Pritzker, Democrat, abandoned the $ 45.4 billion draft budget which envisages a proposed increase in funding for two- and four-year public colleges by 5% in the state.

Overall, his top budget plan is $ 2.2 billion, which is $ 208 million more than the previous budget. Public universities will receive almost $ 55 million more, and public colleges – another $ 13 million.

About 30% of the proposed $ 2.2 billion will go to the University of Illinois system, which will receive $ 650 million. Another $ 203 million, or less than 10% of the top editing budget, will be allocated to the Southern Illinois University system.

Pritzker also wants to allocate another $ 122 million to the state grant program to increase total funding to $ 601 million. A change in the cash prize program will provide financial assistance to approximately 24,000 more students. It will also pave the way for the state to increase the maximum grant amount from $ 6,468 to $ 8,508, which is 50 percent of the average tuition and fees at Illinois State University.


Minnesota officials forecast a state budget surplus of $ 7.7 billion, led by Democrat Governor Tim Waltz. offer additional funding in the biennial budget approved in 2021.

Many of its planned uses for additional funding will create new financial aid initiatives.

His proposal involves setting up a pilot program to waive college tuition fees with an initial investment of $ 10 million. This will benefit undergraduate students who apply to tribal, public and private institutions.

Initially, it will also allocate nearly $ 7 million to a program in which campuses will create or expand support services for students who have children. Students who are parents tend to face obstacles to obtaining a degree, and they benefit from counseling, the proposal said.

The University of Minnesota will receive an additional $ 43 million in 2022-23 to help offset students ’attendance costs and fund improved student services. The University of Minnesota will receive $ 39 million more to support major operations affected by the pandemic, as well as a variety of needs such as students ’mental health, students’ basic needs such as housing and vocational training.


Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, came up with nearly $ 2 billion budget plan of the highest ed which includes $ 90 million in total funding from public colleges, which guarantees a freeze on tuition fees.

Notably, it will allocate $ 1.2 billion to overhaul colleges, and $ 250 million to the University of Tennessee, a historically black institution that has been chronically underfunded for decades. according to the state audit. The review says the state could owe Tennessee up to $ 544 million.

About $ 75 million will go to the state-funded HOPE Scholarship program, which primarily benefits Tennessee high school graduates entering relevant public or private college. Cash infusions will increase scholarships to $ 5,100 per year for four-year college students and $ 3,200 for two-year college students.

Current awards are up to $ 3,500 per year for freshmen and sophomores attending four-year schools, and $ 4,500 for juniors and seniors. Two-year college students can earn up to $ 3,000 a year.

Lee wants to send $ 6 million to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to open the Institute of American Civil Science, which will be housed at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Details of the institution are scant, though the UT president said it would “support and strengthen efforts across the state to emphasize the role of U.S. institutions in conflict resolution, human dignity, and public policy.”


Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has proposed a plan for a larger budget of $ 24 billion.

First and foremost, it will provide $ 65 million to help the Connecticut system of colleges and universities increase enrollment through tuition assistance.

Last year, the state legislature allocated more than $ 81 million from the budget surplus to increase funding for all Connecticut higher education institutions to help alleviate the costs caused by the pandemic. This was reported by the Connecticut Mirror.

Lamont’s offer saves about $ 64 million of this aid for another year.


Gov. Tom Wolfe, a Democrat, may have proposed one of the largest funding increases in the country. According to his plan, the Pennsylvania system of higher education will receive $ 75 million morewhich is almost 16% more than the previous year.

PASSHE will receive a total of $ 552 million.

Wolff also suggested more modest increases for other government-funded government agencies that operate with less government oversight.

Chancellor Dan Greenstein said that if the legislature accepts Wolff’s proposal for funding, PASSHE will freeze the training it has been doing for three years. This was reported by PennLive.com.

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