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State Higher Education Funding during COVID-19: Exploring State-Level Characteristics Influencing Financing Decisions

Author(s): Paul G. Rubin, Meredith S. Billings, Lindsey Hammond, Denisa Gándara

Publisher: American Behavioral Scientist

Year: 2022


Building on research examining state financing for higher education, our qualitative comparative case study investigates state policymakers’ decisions for funding public higher education during the COVID-19 crisis in California and Texas. These states were purposively selected based on the size of their postsecondary sector, state partisanship, and higher education funding responses during the pandemic. Moreover, these states represent two of the largest public postsecondary enrollments nationally and serve a racially and ethnically diverse student population. Guiding our study is the Hearn and Ness (2018) framework investigating the ecology of state higher education policymaking, which offers four contextual categories that influence state policy decisions: socioeconomic context, organizational and policy context, politico-institutional context, and external context.

Last Updated: 9/7/22