Politics and Funding Higher Education

Amanda Newton


One main funding source for higher education institutions is through state appropriations.  Since state appropriations are agreed upon through the state legislature and the governor, the political party of these people can help illuminate how higher education funding is appropriated through political party priorities within the state.  This research will analyze every state from 2000-2014 in the following areas: partisanship context for its legislature and gubernatorial powers, its economic health, and its higher education appropriations. I hypothesize that a state’s partisanship context affects its higher education appropriations and that, in conjunction with a state’s economic decline, Republican led legislatures will appropriate less funds to higher education because their partisan priorities lie in other areas of the state (like industry or jobs) and will have harsher cuts than Democratic led legislatures in periods of declining economic stability.


Higher Education, Appropriations, Partisanship

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