Nationwide, the total impact of these cutbacks is breathtaking. Between 2008 and 2013, states cut a total of $16 billion, adjusted for inflation, from their higher education budgets, even as enrollments rose more than 11 percent. Funding per student dropped even more dramatically, falling by more than 27 percent, or about $2,500 per student. These cutbacks, in turn, have translated nearly 1-to-1 into tuition increases, which averaged nearly $3,000 over the past decade. But the question is not simply deficits, but priorities: Just seven months of funding for theF-35 Fighter would be enough to fully restore higher education spending across the nation.