New York Times (03/02/12) Catherine Rampell
The Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University reports a 7.6% decrease in state appropriations for colleges in 2011-12, marking the biggest yearly decline in 50 years. Although technical, engineering, and health care expertise is in high demand, the drop in state funding has prompted many public colleges, having already hiked tuition rates, to cut training in these fields. For instance, engineering and computer science departments have been eliminated in public colleges in Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, and Texas. Other colleges have stopped expanding, which forces students to stay in school longer to take required classes, boosts their debt, and increases dropout rates.