State Funding Bump Would Have Modest Effect on Grad Rates | Inside Higher Ed

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An increase to state higher education appropriations could have a modest impact on graduation rates, a new report from the Midwest Higher Education Compact showed.

A 10 percent boost to state higher education funding over a 12-year period would have resulted in 27,200 more bachelor’s degrees awarded to Black, Latinx and white students who attended the public, four-year colleges in the report sample. The effect was slightly greater for Black and Latinx students, who were likely to see a 0.41 percent and 0.38 percent increase in graduation rates, respectively, than for white students (0.28 percent).

The estimated impact of an additional 10 percent in funding varied by type of institution, with historically Black colleges and universities seeing the greatest increase in graduation rates, at 0.83 percent. Conversely, cuts to state appropriations could disproportionately harm graduation rates at institutions that enroll greater numbers of racially and ethnically diverse students, including HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions, according to the report.

The report authors also encouraged federal policy makers to pursue federal-state partnerships to promote greater public funding for higher education.

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