Louisiana lawmakers cut state spending for colleges and universities by almost 38% in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2008 to 2019, the second-most among states and behind Arizona, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Average tuition for four-year schools in Louisiana almost doubled, posting easily the biggest percentage increase in the nation. Community college tuition rose 82.5%, second to California.
Funding fell by $3.4 billion nationally, or about $1,033 (11.6%) per student, the left-leaning think tank reported. Tuition at four-year public colleges rose an average of 35.2% and by 37.5% at community colleges.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana’s colleges and universities endured more than a decade of budget cuts that pushed the cost of education to students and families,” said the Louisiana Budget Project, which focuses on how government policies affect low- and middle-income residents.
“Louisiana’s failure to invest in higher education harms students of color and those with low incomes the most, as they are less likely to receive TOPS scholarships.”