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State Budget Projections for Higher Education Look Bleak Thanks to Medicaid Costs

State tax revenues are up. But the next decade is looking rough, thanks largely to rising Medicaid costs. And public higher education will bear the brunt of tighter state budgets.That’s the central finding of a new study from the National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education. The University of Virginia’s Miller Center created the nonpartisan commission last year with funding from Lumina Foundation.

“Huge growth” in Medicaid spending is leading to a “tipping point” for public colleges, said Ray Scheppach, an economic fellow at the center. Scheppach presented the study’s findings here this week at a meeting of the Education Writers Association.