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Government cuts to blame for skyrocketing tuition, says report


As the glow of finally deciding on a college begins to wear off, many students and families must wrestle with how they’re going to pay for school. 

A new report has one answer: push the government to pay for more of it. Cuts to higher education funding by state governments accounted for 79% of tuition increases at public research universities between 2001 and 2011 and 78% of the growth in college costs at public bachelor’s and master’s universities, according to a report released Tuesday by Demos, a left-leaning think tank. 

“We really kind of reached an inflection point,” said Robert Hiltonsmith, a senior policy analyst at Demos and the author of the report. Tuition accounts for such a large share of revenue for public universities — about 47%, according to a recent report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association — that “it’s not necessarily really fair to call it public education any longer,” Hiltonsmith said.