Federal and state higher education expenditures have changed since the recession.

higher-fundingFor the first time in decades, the federal government is sending about the same amount of money to colleges and universities as do the states that support them, according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trust.

The change in funding levels was driven largely by the recession, when states slashed higher education funding to balance budgets and more people headed back to school, pushing the federal government to spend more on financial aid.

The findings come as some states, including Arizona, Louisiana and Wisconsin, consider reductions in higher education spending. Texas, meanwhile, is starting to come out of a period of cuts. Federal lawmakers are beginning to debate how to fund Pell Grants, the need-based aid that makes up the bulk of federal higher education spending.

(Next page: How higher education spending is broken down)

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