Public higher education has long been the first choice for students seeking an affordable,
high-quality degree without a lifetime of debt. However, state disinvestment, which began in the 1980s and has continued to present day, has contributed to more
than 80% of public university tuition increases from 2001-2011, making affordability
an endangered concept. With the national student debt crisis at $1.3 trillion, previously
favored actions such as raising loan caps or increasing Pell Grants are no longer
F. King Alexander has long been a proponent of developing a federal-state partnership using federal funds to incentivize states to maintain or increase their support of public higher education. This type of partnership is not new and has been successful in the past. In fact, one of the best examples of its success is the Morrill Act of 1862, which created land grant universities like LSU. Read more about this concept and the challenges facing public higher education in Alexander’s speech, Forging New Federal Policies Supporting a Federal/State/Public Institutional Partnership as Part of the Next 50 Years of the Higher Education Act.