The Council of State Governments West


February 20, 2014

In This Issue
Higher Education Funding
WLA Applications
Economic Development Webinar
2014 CSG & CSG West Annual Conference 

August 9-13. 2014
Anchorage Alaska
Upcoming Webinars 
Connecting Higher Education and Industry for Economic Development
 Feb. 26, 1 p.m. EST
More Info...
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Higher Education Tuition and State Funding

By Alma Lopez, CSG West Policy Analyst



During the recession many states had to make hard decisions regarding higher education funding and tuition at public universities. According to the 2013-2014 Tuition and Fees in Public Higher Education in the West report by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the enrollment-weighted average tuition and fees for residents and non-residents was higher for four-year institutions over previous years; while lower at two-year institutions.


As tuition and fees have increased over the past decade, it has become more difficult for American families to afford post-secondary education. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released the "Education at a Glance 2013" report last year ranking the U.S. as number 12th in the world in college degree attainment among 25-34 year olds. Yet our growing competitive economy is in need of skilled workers and more businesses require post-secondary education and professional certifications.


According to a recent Pew Research Center Report, lacking a college degree puts young adults at higher risks of being unemployed, or of earning much less than those with a college degree.  The Pew Research analysis also found that the value of a high school diploma is declining; the earnings of a typical high school graduate fell by more than $3,000, from $31,384 in 1965 to $28,000 in 2013. Young adults with just high-school diplomas are also much more likely to live in poverty, at 22 percent in 2013 compared to 7 percent in 1979.


In an effort to meet President's Obama goal for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, this year's federal budget increased the maximum Pell Grant to $5,785 and would fund Pell Grants for more than 9 million.  Federal work-study also increased by $150 million and the interest rate calculation was reformed in order to provide a long-term fix for student loan interest rates. The President's budget also encourages institutional reforms via the $260 million "First in the World" fund or campus-based aid programs as well as state reforms. The Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion proposed by President Obama last year provides competitive grants to states that demonstrate a strong commitment to increasing college affordability.


The table below shows the FY 2013-2014 western states fiscal support for higher education, by source of state support.

*Includes appropriations that have been returned to the states (or that states anticipate will be returned) as well as portions of multi-year appropriations applied in the respective year. Both are factored out of state totals for fiscal support. Source: Center for the Study of Education Policy

Apply Today for the Western Legislative Academy


Each year CSG West brings together a distinguished national faculty to offer the West's premier training experience for Western state legislators in their first four years of service. The goals of the Western Legislative Academy (WLA) are to help newer legislators become more effective and to build stronger state legislative institutions. To that end a faculty of outstanding academics, corporate, military and public trainers work with a small class of lawmakers who come from each of our 13 Western states. Members of the Academy are selected on the basis of their dedication to public service, desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and commitment to the institution of the legislature. Learn more...


Apply Today!

Connecting Higher Education and
Industry for Economic Development


 Wednesday, Feb. 26, 1-2 p.m. EST


Recent data collected by the Association of University Technology Managers indicates a positive correlation between money spent on research and success in economic development. As states and localities compete for industry investment and jobs in an uncertain global economy, they need greater access to experts to provide guidance on the expected benefits and costs of economic development projects to make sound decisions. This complimentary webinar will focus on a variety of advanced analytical tools to help academic executives, industry scientists and policymakers make better evidence-based decisions on key research strategies. More...

The mission of CSG West is to facilitate regional, nonpartisan cooperation and exchange of information, and to strengthen legislative institutions among our 13 member states. These services are achieved through a variety of programs and services offered to legislators and their staff, including the convening of policy forums, professional development training, international relations opportunities, publications and institutional links with other political entities in the West.   


CSG West serves the Western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.