From the executive summary:
…Although the price of college has been rising for students and families, so has the potential economic benefit of earning a postsecondary credential or degree. Greater attention to both the costs and benefits of higher education influences the environment in which political leaders, policymakers, and educators make decisions.
No single report can provide definitive answers to the broad and fundamental questions of state higher education finance policy, but the SHEF report supplies important context and trend analysis to help inform policy decisions. SHEF provides the earliest possible review of state and local support, tuition revenue, and enrollment trends for the most recently completed fiscal year. This year’s report focuses on FY 2018, which for most states ran from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.
The report includes:
• An explanation of the measures and methods used in the SHEF metrics for analysis;
• A description of the revenue sources and uses for higher education;
• An analysis of national trends in enrollment and revenue;
• Comparisons of the SHEF metrics across states and over time;
• Indicators of state tax capacity, tax effort, and relative allocations for higher education; and
• A series of case studies that add important context and interpretation of the data presented in the report