SHEEO welcomes state policy interns for the summer

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) welcomes Kahlea Hunt-Khabir and Gus Gluek as state policy interns this summer.

Over the next few months, Kahlea will support SHEEO’s student mental health and wellness learning community, the Pursuing Alignment for Student Success Across Higher Education Institutions & State Agencies (PASS) project, and complete an independent project. Gus will lead a postsecondary value survey, support the Strong Foundations survey work, help with the Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) data project, and complete an independent project.

Kahlea is a doctoral student studying higher education, student affairs, and international education policy at the University of Maryland, with a concentration in higher education. Her research focuses on access and equity, organizational change, critical pedagogy, epistemic violence, and postcolonial theories in education. Kahlea is the lead research assistant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary System Opportunities – Evidence & Strategic Analysis grant.

She graduated from the University of Denver in 2020 with a master’s in higher education, emphasizing diversity and learning. At DU, she was the program coordinator for the Denver Promise Scholars Program and principal investigator for Seeking Grace: Mining the Archives of Black Women at DU (documentary). She has worked on research projects in Brazil, South Africa, Cuba, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. 

Gus is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania studying higher education and data analytics. His research interests include access and persistence for underrepresented students, higher education funding, and student debt. 

Gus earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Colby College and his master’s in public policy from Vanderbilt University. Prior to his doctoral studies, Gus worked at the Tennessee Board of Regents studying adult students’ success across the state.

Learn more about our team at https://sheeo.org/about/sheeo-staff/.

New SHEEO report shows Idaho Direct Admissions program impact on institution selectivity

Direct Admissions programs are designed to demystify the college application process, reduce barriers to entry, and encourage students to enroll in postsecondary education. Since 2015, Direct Admissions policies have garnered a lot of attention, with Idaho being the first in the nation to implement the program. The program has since emerged as a potential model for other states considering similar reforms. Previous research on Direct Admissions policies in Idaho has examined the policy’s effectiveness on institutional applications and enrollment outcomes. In a new paper, SHEEO uses data on the receipt of a Letter of 6 and receipt of a Letter of 8 to understand how Direct Admissions policies influence student choice in institutional selectivity. 

Using the student’s SAT score and GPA, the Idaho Office of the State Board of Education proactively admits high school students to the “Letter of 6” or “Letter of 8.” Students receiving the Letter of 8 are admitted to all of Idaho’s public higher education institutions, while students receiving the Letter of 6 are admitted to all except Boise State University and the University of Idaho, the two more selective institutions in the state. Once a student is guaranteed a seat at any of the colleges listed in their Direct Admissions letter, students then apply to the institutions of choice to verify their enrollment intentions.

SHEEO examined data from 2018-2020, including demographic characteristics and school choice of students above and below GPA thresholds for students receiving the Letter of 8. Analysis found that students with a low SAT score and/or low GPA are less likely to attend one of the more selective institutions based on academic performance alone, but receiving the Letter of 8 encourages their enrollment at these selective institutions.

Read the full report and learn more at https://sheeo.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Idaho_Direct-AdmissionsImpact.pdf

For only the second time, state funding to public colleges exceeds per-student funding levels seen prior to the Great Recession

The latest State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) report finds that in 2023, public higher education appropriations increased 3.7% beyond inflation, surpassing pre-recession per-student funding levels for only the second time since 2008. The SHEF report also finds that fiscal year 2023 saw the largest decline in tuition revenue since the start of the SHEF dataset in 1980, and public FTE enrollment continued to decline.

After a short recession in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, historical patterns following economic recessions reversed in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Instead of the typical decrease in state funding following a recession, education appropriations increased for the 11th straight year, rising $1,247 per full-time equivalent (FTE) from 2020 to 2023. Inflation-adjusted education appropriations per FTE were greater than pre-recession funding levels in 2008, by 6.7% or $697 per FTE. The increase in education appropriations per FTE can be attributed to three notable trends: increasing state commitments to higher education funding, a sharp decline in FTE enrollment, and generous federal stimulus funding. 

Additional findings from this year’s report include:

  • Public FTE enrollment has now declined for 12 straight years to 10.2 million in 2023, down 0.5% since 2022, and down 12.1% from an enrollment peak in 2011. Nationally, public institutions have lost all the additional FTE enrollment gained following the Great Recession. In 2023, FTE enrollment was 0.2% lower than in 2008. 
  • State and local government funding for higher education totaled $129.8 billion in fiscal year 2023, including more than $1.7 billion (1.3%) in federal stimulus funding. Inflation-adjusted federal stimulus funding for higher education declined $609.3 million or 26.6% from fiscal year 2022. 
  • Education appropriations increased 1.6% at two-year institutions and 4.2% at four-year institutions. Without federal stimulus funding directed by states to higher education and without the decline in FTE enrollment, inflation-adjusted education appropriations still would have increased 5.8% from 2020. Although national-level education appropriations have recovered to 2008 levels, 25 states continue funding higher education at a lower level than prior to the Great Recession.
  • State public financial aid per FTE increased 2.5% from 2022 to 2023 and reached an all-time high of $1,050 per FTE enrolled student. These funds made up 9.5% of all education appropriations. Financial aid per FTE increased in 27 states in the last year.
  • Inflation-adjusted net tuition revenue decreased 3.3% in 2023 and has declined 9.4% in the last five years. Public institutions received $7,353 per FTE in net tuition and fee revenue in 2023. Public institutions in 37 states and Washington, D.C., collected less tuition revenue than they did five years ago. Decreases in net tuition revenue are largely due to increases in state financial aid and minimal tuition rate growth (lower than the rate of inflation). Despite recent declines, since 1980, net tuition revenue per FTE has increased in every state and has increased by more than 100% in 42 states.
  • Total education revenue increased 0.8% from 2022 to 2023, reaching an all-time high of $18,301 per FTE. However, total education revenue is at an all-time high in only 13 states, and many institutions are not at an all-time high for total education revenue. Additionally, the increase in total education revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is explained by federal stimulus funding and the enrollment decline. Excluding federal stimulus funding, and if enrollment had held constant at 2020 levels, total education revenue per FTE would have decreased 2.3% from 2020 to 2023. 
  • The student share decreased from 41.9% in 2022 to 40.2% in 2023. Thirty-five states saw declines, but student tuition and fees funding public higher education still comprised more than 50% of total revenues in 21 states. Continued increases in education appropriations and declines in net tuition revenue have reduced the proportion of total revenue financed by students. 

As these findings demonstrate, fiscal year 2023 continued to defy several long-term trends in higher education finance and showed growth in education appropriations. The continued decline in net tuition revenue puts greater pressure on states to not cut funding to public higher education in the coming years. As federal stimulus funds run out, some states may face difficult budgetary decisions.

“Seeing additional increases in state support for higher education demonstrates a continued commitment in many states to fund financial aid and their public institutions. It’s encouraging to see that even as federal stimulus funds dwindle, states are investing in higher education and see the value it brings,” said SHEEO President Robert E. Anderson. “Amidst increasing concerns about student affordability and student loan debt, states must make conscious efforts to continue to decrease the financial burden on students and families.”

The SHEF report broadly addresses the wide variation in how states fund public higher education. However, state-specific context is incredibly important when discussing higher education finance trends. “The trends detailed in the SHEF report reflect national and state averages, but there are almost always outliers in every trend. Even within states, there can be wide variation in the enrollment and revenue patterns at each institution,” said Kelsey Kunkle, Policy Analyst at SHEEO and author of the report. “We know that state funding and institutional revenue impact student outcomes, and the negative impacts of low and unequal institutional revenues disproportionately affect students of color and low-income students.”

The full SHEF report paints a more complete picture of differences in public higher education finance across states.

Explore the SHEF website to read the full report and customize the interactive data visualizations, including individual state profiles. Look for more data from SHEF to be added to the website in the coming months. 

SHEEO and JED convene top policy leaders for system-wide mental health progress

Key voices in higher education policy and mental health gathered in Minneapolis to discuss progress and potential for student wellness.

MINNEAPOLIS — The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and The Jed Foundation (JED), a leading nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults nationwide, with generous support from the Lumina Foundation, convened state higher education leaders, mental health professionals, students, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to discuss critical policy changes needed to support the emotional health and well-being of college students. 

The Wellness Blueprint: Cultivating Foundations for Statewide Student Mental Health Policy,” a special event held in Minneapolis from April 29–May 1, included sessions and discussions about the learning community program and grant opportunities provided by JED and SHEEO. Roberto J. Rodríguez, ED’s assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, delivered a keynote speech and inspired discussion among attendees, which included state policy leaders from Arizona, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Each state collaborated with JED and SHEEO to generate system-wide policy recommendations to strengthen college and university mental health and wellness capacities, particularly among low-income and diverse students. 

“A single institution, government agency, or community organization may face challenges while advocating for the changes required to protect youth mental health. By collaborating across the federal, state, and local levels, a clearer path towards progress and the creation of meaningful systems-level change can be possible,” Rodríguez said. “It was great to see a willingness from education and policy decision-makers to make that happen.”  

The Wellness Convening helped states meet the growing urgency around youth mental health. Research indicates that today’s young people are facing loneliness, increased access to firearms, climate anxiety, financial insecurity, and a lack of access to care.

“The statistics are clear: Young people are currently facing unprecedented mental health challenges. At JED, our data demonstrates that when comprehensive approaches are implemented and championed by higher education systems, we can meaningfully reduce suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts,” said Zainab Okolo, the senior vice president of policy, advocacy, and government relations at JED. “Higher education systems are encouraged to address these issues head-on. This summit was a critical step toward creating scalable and effective policy solutions that prioritize the well-being of all our nation’s college students.”

“Student wellness is directly related to student success, and state higher education agencies are uniquely situated to help develop student-centered policies and practices,” said John Lane, the vice president for academic affairs and equity initiatives at SHEEO. “This learning community and convening are designed specifically to help states develop plans to support institutions as they address the startling statistics around student mental health and well-being.”

Examining state and university progress and policies, while also amplifying the voices of young people as part of the solution, helped attendees identify key takeaways and priorities from the convening, including:

  • The implementation of a campus-wide, comprehensive approach to mental health that holistically encompasses strategic planning, data collection, equitable implementation, life skills development, creating a sense of belonging, reducing stigma, and identifying students in need of care.
  • An emphasis on effective proactive measures to address external factors that impact student mental health,  including societal challenges, technological advancements, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The vital need for a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens, alongside representation of diverse voices and perspectives, when considering mental health policy and service delivery.
  • Financial prioritization of mental health initiatives, including considerations for licensure across state lines and equitable access to services. 
  • Utilizing evidence-based policy and program development and evaluation for effective mental health strategies, including using research findings, engaging with reputable organizations, and incorporating an equity lens in policy reviews.
  • Supporting advocacy and collaboration to engage institutional stakeholders, state systems, legislators, and student bodies to advance mental health priorities and resources, including building relationships, organizing collective efforts, and advancing systems-change work.

As state leaders return to their home communities, these findings will be reviewed and customized to the needs of their students and higher education institutions.

“Louisiana is honored to participate in the inaugural Student Mental Health and Wellness Learning Community, sponsored by SHEEO and JED, as we work to bolster existing mental health programs and pursue innovative initiatives tailored to the evolving needs of Louisiana’s student population,” said Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana’s commissioner of higher education. “The consultative strategic planning and technical assistance offered within the learning community will assist Louisiana in creating a sustainable model to support the mental health and well-being of our students.”

Learn more about the event and the learning community on the SHEEO project webpage.

For pictures from the event, please email jduren@sheeo.org.

 

About JED:

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

Postsecondary data system privacy and funding focus of new Strong Foundations report

In a new report, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) examines the ongoing efforts and challenges states have in safeguarding and sustaining their postsecondary student unit record systems (PSURSs). PSURSs are the primary means for states to collect data and analyze student progress, completions, and outcomes. 

For more than 50 years, state higher education agencies have used PSURSs to inform policy and decision-making. In a survey to its members, SHEEO asked state higher education agencies about their PSURSs – survey responses and analysis are outlined in a Strong Foundations report and subsequent dashboards on the postsecondarydata.sheeo.org website. To understand the influence of changing data governance and funding realities, in Strong Foundations 2023, SHEEO extended its examination into data privacy and security standards. 

SHEEO’s new report State Postsecondary Data: How Data Governance and Funding Influence Innovation and Sustainability, shows a continued commitment to protecting the security and privacy of PSURSs data, with all state agencies following established federal and state data handling standards. State agencies are also adhering to established internal data policies to reduce the risk of data loss and privacy violations. They continue to have data breach protocols in place or comply with overarching state protocols. Recognizing robust protocols and infrastructures alone is not enough, state agencies are taking additional steps. They provide training to staff to ensure the appropriate use of data and PII; are building upon data governance councils to ensure data security and privacy standards are in place; and are creating Chief Data Privacy officer positions

Looking toward the future, state agencies have a slate of planned technology priorities to improve PSURSs’ impacts and processes and to reduce risk to those systems. They reported the need to hire new staff or leverage current personnel to help improve capacity, governance, and use of their PSURSs in response to increasing demands by state stakeholders for targeted, real-time, and consumable data reporting.

“Universally, state agencies emphasized the need for further investment in their PSURSs to stay economically competitive and to meet state objectives,” said Carrie Klein, Associate Vice President at SHEEO. “As states seek to improve student outcomes and state goals, they need more support of PSURS infrastructure, data, and personnel.”

Find more information about data and privacy efforts around student postsecondary data systems in this new report here

A revamped website with new dashboards has been developed to help SHEEO members understand the full survey results from the Strong Foundations 2023 report. Visit https://postsecondarydata.sheeo.org/data/ to explore or download the data.

SHEEO partners with Sova to align student success across higher education institutions & state agencies

Four states to join new learning community focused on student success

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) is excited to announce our partnership with Sova to form a new learning community that fosters a collaborative relationship between state agencies and higher education institution student success teams. This new partnership, with generous funding from the Ascendium Education Group, will support better alignment of student success policies and practices. The Pursuing Alignment for Student Success Across Higher Education Institutions & State Agencies (PASS) project will partner with higher education leaders in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Wyoming through 2025. 

“This new initiative adopts a networked strategy, emphasizing the importance of alignment between state higher education offices and institutions to foster more equitable student success,” said SHEEO President Rob Anderson. “Our members are uniquely positioned to serve as pivotal intermediaries, bridging state policy and higher education for the benefit of students. We look forward to seeing how these efforts can be scaled to make a broader impact across our membership.”

PASS will focus on scaling the impact of student success efforts statewide by formalizing state networks and promoting strategies between institutional leadership teams and state higher education leaders. Institutional chief academic officers will provide insights into current initiatives and best practices to support student needs and catalyze campus-wide support for their success. In addition, institutions will benefit from enhanced access to policy development across sectors, missions, geographic regions, and service areas statewide. At the same time, SHEEO agencies will use their state and system-wide platforms both to serve as conduits of this best-practice exchange and to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges institutions face and how best to coordinate advocacy for their students. 

Each state team will receive planning grants and strategic planning and technical assistance that recognizes their unique context and needs. This networked approach aims to achieve the following:

  • a better understanding of the impacts of state policy on campus transformation efforts; 
  • render campus-based student success work less vulnerable to changes in leadership, policy, and political circumstances; and 
  • an opportunity to benefit SHEEO’s full membership nationwide.

“We’re excited about the work our campus and state teams have committed to create and build on the habits of practice and cultures of collaboration that allow for durable, meaningful, and impactful partnerships between state agency offices and institutional leaders. Sustained student success requires institutions and state agencies to align on goals, leverage their respective strengths, and work in partnership to ensure that today’s students receive the education they deserve and their communities require for economic growth,” said Brian A. Sponsler, partner at Sova.

About SHEEO

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) serves the executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership. For more information, visit sheeo.org

About Sova 

Together, we build the capacity for large-scale change. Our focus is not just on the systems and institutions themselves but on the incredible people behind them. By joining the Sova community, you become part of a collective force dedicated to achieving impactful results. We offer personalized support, tailored strategies, and hands-on guidance to help you navigate the path toward transformation. Our approach is grounded in collaboration, empathy, and a genuine understanding of your challenges. We provide the tools and resources needed to turn your vision into reality, ensuring that every step you take is purposeful and clear.

For more information, visit sova.org or contact Brian Sponsler, brian.sponsler@sova.org.

About Ascendium

Ascendium Education Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. Ascendium invests in initiatives designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Ascendium’s work identifies, validates and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit https://www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org.


SHEEO is hiring an Administrative Coordinator

About the organization

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) serves the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership.

SHEEO is particularly interested in providing equal employment opportunities and creating a diverse work environment. Read more about SHEEO on our website: sheeo.org.

About the position

The position will be based in Washington, D.C., and is eligible for a hybrid remote/in-office work schedule. Reporting to the Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, the Administrative Coordinator is responsible for providing administrative, logistical, and office management support across the organization, including support for meeting and event planning, scheduling, and day-to-day operational needs of the organization.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide administrative support to staff including scheduling, light research, project management, and team-building activities.  
  • Foster and sustain positive, collaborative relationships with colleagues, members, and external partners through effective communication and engagement.
  • Support our meeting and event planning functions, including registration processes; communicating with attendees and presenters; preparing and distributing materials; coordinating with vendors; and coordinating travel arrangements and reimbursements.
  • Serve as a liaison with the executive committee, establish and maintain professional relationships with SHEEO members, and exhibit a member-centered approach to tasks.
  • Provide day-to-day management of the office, including maintaining our physical space, office supplies, and inventory; managing vendor relationships; and coordinating with building management. Light lifting may be required.
  • Support hiring and onboarding processes, including advertising job descriptions, managing applications and applicant correspondence, scheduling interviews, and helping coordinate logistics of onboarding new hires.

Qualifications and Experiences

We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications, skills, and experiences:

  • At least two years of experience in a role with similar responsibilities (experience working at a membership organization, state higher education agency, or postsecondary institution a plus).
  • A self-starter with meticulous attention to detail and follow-through to ensure accurate and timely completion of tasks.
  • Strong team-building and interpersonal skills and the ability to develop professional relationships with staff, members, and external partners.
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office Suite and virtual meeting tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
  • Familiarity with event registration software (Cvent experience a plus), web-based platforms/software applications, and audio-visual equipment.
  • A passion for advancing educational and economic opportunity, diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and social mobility.

Location and Travel:

This position is based in Washington, D.C., and is eligible for a hybrid remote/in-office work schedule and will require periodic national travel.

Salary and benefits

Salary will be commensurate with candidate’s experience and demonstrated skill level, with a range of $55,000 to $65,000. SHEEO provides a comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, and vision benefits; life and disability insurance; retirement plan contributions; educational assistance; and paid time off. 

Application Process:

SHEEO is not able to sponsor work authorizations, therefore applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. 

The application window has been extended to Friday, March 29, 2024. This job opening has closed.

SHEEO is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and believes that recruiting and developing a diverse and inclusive staff is vital to the success of the organization.  

SHEEO releases new FAFSA Simplification Guidebook and FAQ to help guide states through financial aid challenges

A new guidebook from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) was published online today to provide insights for state higher education agencies to navigate and understand both the benefits and implications associated with the change to a new simplified Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in regard to state financial aid. 

The 2024-25 Simplified FAFSA, rolled out by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) at the end of December, includes a new needs analysis formula. This change requires states to make alterations in how they administer their financial aid programs, such as updating their financial aid processing systems or altering their respective aid formulas to determine state aid eligibility.

While every state administers its financial aid programs in a different way, this new guidebook serves to highlight:

  • changes to the new FAFSA and needs analysis formula, 
  • ways in which students and their families may be impacted, 
  • issues associated with the new FAFSA that state agencies and legislatures may want to consider, 
  • and examples on how the new needs analysis formula alters the eligibility distribution for state aid programs.

The new guidebook examines how state aid could be impacted by the new Student Aid Index. SHEEO examined the design of four different state aid programs: first dollar scholarships, last dollar scholarships, eligibility based on an EFC/SAI threshold or Pell Grant, and eligibility based on adjusted gross income.

The intent of the changes to the FAFSA is to lead to expanded Pell Grant eligibility and higher award amounts, which prior research has demonstrated will occur. However, certain students, especially those from families with multiple members in college or families with a farm or business, may experience a loss of federal and state aid eligibility.

“The updated FAFSA and new needs formula offer states an opportunity to really examine their financial aid programs,” said Rachel Burns, SHEEO senior policy analyst. “States may need to adapt their grant and scholarship programs to ensure they continue to maintain the goal of promoting college access and success.”

State higher education agencies are working to develop processes to award aid in a timely manner, but they are not anticipated to receive necessary FAFSA data elements from ED until mid-March. States will need to work with postsecondary institutions on communication strategies to inform students and their families that postponement in awards is due to the delayed release of the FAFSA.

The 2024-25 FAFSA delay and ongoing issues are causing frustration within the higher education community. SHEEO will continue to advocate for its members and share concerns with the U.S. Department of Education in pursuit of timely solutions to minimize confusion and hardship for students and families. 

On a new webpage with frequently asked questions, SHEEO will update states on how to troubleshoot known issues on the form and ways peer states have moved forward. 

Find the new FAFSA guidebook and a link to the FAQ webpage at https://sheeo.org/project/fafsa-simplification/.

SHEEO Seeking State Policy Summer Interns for 2024

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) is excited to announce an opportunity for students interested in higher education policy and governance, policy analysis, and research methods. SHEEO is seeking candidates for its paid State Policy Summer Internship for the summer of 2024.

This internship is ideal for motivated, active learners pursuing graduate study or a career in higher education, public policy, public administration, or related fields. Interns will have the opportunity to work remotely or on a hybrid schedule in either SHEEO’s Boulder, Colorado, or Washington, D.C., office.

Selected interns will collaborate with SHEEO on a variety of projects depending on their skills and interests. The internship duration is flexible, lasting approximately 10 to 14 weeks, beginning in May or early June. Interns will receive a living stipend for those relocating for the summer, and remote interns are invited to visit one of the two offices for a week-long stay at the beginning of their internship period. Interns will have the chance to attend and help host the SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., from August 5-8, 2024.

Interns will be engaged in diverse duties and responsibilities, including maintaining state policy and news inventories, conducting data analysis, generating website content, contributing to meeting agenda planning, drafting various publications, and completing an independent research project using SHEEO resources.

Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in higher education policy, a commitment to advancing equity and student success, experience with large quantitative datasets, proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, and excellent written and oral communication skills. Interns are considered non-exempt employees and are expected to work a minimum of 25 hours per week, with schedules determined by mutual arrangement. This is a paid internship ($23 per hour).

The application deadline is March 1, 2024. Interested candidates are encouraged to review the full job listing and complete the application process.

SHEEO is dedicated to providing equal employment opportunities and believes that recruiting and developing a diverse and inclusive staff is essential to the organization’s success.

For more information about the State Policy Summer Internship program, please find the full job posting here.

Annual Grapevine Data show initial 10.2% increase in state support for higher education

Data reported by states in the latest Grapevine survey indicate that initially approved state support for higher education in fiscal year (FY) 2024 reached $126.5 billion, a 10.2% increase over 2023.[1] This is the third year state fiscal support for all higher education has topped $100 billion. This increase reflects a 36.5% increase over the past five years. Tax appropriations, non-tax support, non-appropriated support, and returns from state funded endowments make up total state support. The Grapevine report provides a first, tentative look at state higher education funding in the new fiscal year. However, an important caveat is that the Grapevine data do not account for inflation.[2]

Although states allocated 50.5% less federal funding to support higher education than in FY 2023, an additional $801.3 million in federal stimulus funding brings the total state fiscal support for higher education in FY 2024 to $127.3 billion.[3]  Since 2020, states allocated just under $10 billion in federal stimulus to higher education.

Grapevine data are collected annually by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). The FY 2024 data represent initial allocations and estimates reported by the states from October 2023 through January 2024 and are subject to change. 

Both including and excluding federal stimulus dollars, 19 states saw increases of at least 10% since 2023. Including federal stimulus, 10 states saw increases greater than 15%. Eight states saw increases greater than 15% without federal stimulus. 

Nine states and Washington, D.C., reported an overall decline in state support, including federal stimulus funding, between 2023 and 2024. Four states and Washington, D.C., had one-year declines excluding federal stimulus. Excluding federal stimulus funding, only two states (Alaska and Wyoming) had lower state support in 2024 than in 2019.

The Grapevine tables include data on how total higher education state support allocations were used across two-year public operating, four-year public operating, state financial aid, research, and other uses for FY 2024. While state allocations across each area are not final and include estimates for several states, initial appropriations to each area were as follows: 

  • $27.3 billion to two-year public operating.
  • $59.8 billion to four-year public operating.
  • $16.4 billion to state financial aid for all students. 
  • $16.8 billion to research, agriculture extension, hospital extension and medical schools.
  • $6.1 billion to other uses, including agency funding, private institution operations, and non-credit appropriations. 

The full Grapevine report, including tables summarizing the results of the FY 2024 Grapevine survey and a complete dataset of state support for higher education going back to 1980, can be found on the SHEEO State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) website at https://shef.sheeo.org/grapevine.


[1] FY 2024 marks the eighth year Grapevine has included Washington, D.C., in its survey. Washington, D.C., is excluded from all state counts and U.S. totals. The data reported by the District of Columbia, including federal stimulus funding, reveal an 8.9% decline in the last year and an 8.5% decrease in the last two years, but a five-year increase of 25.6%.

[2] While actual inflation data are not available for FY 2024, forecasts suggest the U.S. will face 2.8% inflation over FY 2024. Source: OECD Economic Outlook: Statistics and Projections, Inflation Forecast Indicator https://data.oecd.org/price/inflation-forecast.htm.

[3] Federal stimulus funding was awarded to states for higher education to stabilize state and local sources of funding, and to provide additional resources during COVID-19. Federal stimulus funding excludes funds allocated to public capital projects and any funds (such as HEERF) allocated directly by the federal government to institutions or students.