This edition of WICHE Insights, Tuition and Fees, Appropriations, and Financial Aid in the West, 2021-22: Trends and Implications. This edition of WICHE Insights discusses the most recent results of WICHE’s annual survey, Tuition and Fees in the West, as well as the recent trends in state appropriations and state financial aid. Overall, the most recent data highlights a positive trend in state higher education finance as most states reported minimal tuition rate changes along with increases in state appropriations and financial aid over the past academic and fiscal years. Although most states are facing a positive fiscal outlook for the upcoming fiscal year, higher education institutions and systems are facing rising costs and declining enrollments, presenting challenges in addressing affordability. Key takeaways from the brief include:
- Regional average tuition and fees for resident undergraduates at public four-year institutions were $10,028 in AY 2021-22, an increase of 1.2% from AY 2020-21.
- Regional average in-district tuition and fees at public two-year institutions increased 3.4% from AY 2020-21 to $4,217 in AY 2021-22.
- State appropriations in the West reached an all-time high in FY 2022, with over $32 billion in state support going to higher education in the current fiscal year. In addition to state dollars, states used about $924 million in COVID-19 relief funds for higher education in FY 2022.
- State financial aid per undergraduate increased between AY 2018-19 and AY 2019-20 and was at about the same amount as the national average, although state grant aid continues to be more likely based on need in the West compared to the national average.