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For the First Time, Public Colleges Get More Money from Students Than States

Back in 2003, public colleges were funded primarily by state governments. Since then, state funding dropped while tuition rose. And for the first time, according to a new study, students are putting more money into public colleges than the states.

The study, which was conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, traced public college revenue between 2003 and 2012. In 2003, state funding accounted for 32%  of public college’s revenue — more than any other source — while tuition made up 17%.

But almost every year since then, money from students (and their parents and grandparents) went up, while state funding dropped. By 2012, tuition made up 25% of revenue, while money from state governments made up 23%.