In recent years, Missouri has cut aid to colleges and universities and held down tuition increases while the number of students has risen. The result is that Missouri has seen one of the largest declines nationally in per-student revenues for higher education.
Missouri's total available revenues for higher education institutions declined by 12 percent on a per-student basis from the 2005 to 2010 fiscal years, according to a report released this week by the State Higher Education Executive Officers, a national association for the CEOs of state higher education coordinating boards.
That was the second largest decline nationally, behind only a 13.4 percent drop in New Mexico.
The association's revenue figures include money available both from state aid and student tuition.
Missouri Higher Education Commissioner David Russell said Friday that the report reflects economic realities.
"The desire to adequately fund higher education exists, but the means to do it is lacking," Russell said in a written statement. "Institutions are educating more students with fewer resources, and that is likely to continue to be the case until new sources of revenue are identified or the economy recovers."