University budgets continue to rise faster than inflation. From the Chronicle:
A new national survey shows that state spending on higher education is continuing to rise in most of the country and is growing faster than kudzu in much of the South.
Total state general-fund appropriations for higher education are up by 7 percent, to $72.18-billion, in the 2006-7 fiscal year, according to an annual survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Education Policy, at Illinois State University. Detailed statistics from the survey, including state-by-state and institution-by-institution breakdowns, are available here.
Fourteen states experienced double-digit increases in their appropriations for higher education, the most since the center began tracking one-year fluctuations in such spending, in 1991.
Alabama had the largest one-year jump, with lawmakers there budgeting a whopping 18.7 percent more for colleges and financial aid. Increases of at least 13 percent were reported by Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
Over all, 28 states increased appropriations for higher education by at least 5 percent for 2006-7.