- A new survey of programs in Florida's public university system reveals that per-credit costs for undergraduate degrees fell more than 15% between 1999 and 2013, according to Campus Technology.
- The report, compiled by faculty researchers from the University of Chicago and Yale University, suggests that majors in STEM fields like engineering and health saw the greatest decreases over the measured period, nearly 40%. But these were also among the most expensive programs per student, costing over $39,100 to produce graduates at rates more than 200% more costly than peer programs in the liberal arts and social sciences.
- The report listed parks and recreation, public safety and business among the three most inexpensive majors in per credit spending in comparison to postgraduate earnings.
Florida is a unique case study on costs for education, because it is one of a growing number of states which also ties its performance-based funding model to postgraduate outcomes specifically taking place in the state. Institutions receive more funding for the number of degrees they produce in areas like STEM, but are knocked for the number graduates who do not remain in-state to work in these fields.
It is critical for board members and presidents at public institutions to study trends in industry and workforce development, in preparation for more states adopting performance-based measures of increasing or cutting budgets. While colleges remain economic anchors for communities and states, it is becoming more difficult for lawmakers to see why taxpayers should bear its costs.