Higher Ed Budgets for the Post-COVID Era
Now’s Our Chance to Do This Right
Nov. 17, 2020
Organization(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global and U.S. economy more profoundly than any other event since World War II. Just as the subprime mortgage crisis ushered in an 18-month economic decline and an ensuing state budget crisis, the current economic slide threatens to leave us in an even larger fiscal hole. The Great Recession also taught the nation several lessons about higher education. Generally, the more education you have, the more likely you are to remain employed during economic hardship. States with higher educational attainment also see greater economic growth. Conversely, disproportionate cuts to higher education undermine statewide attainment goals. States will often pursue “across-the-board” cuts to institutions in what may appear to be a “fair” way to distribute losses, but this can cause significant harm.