Minnesota lawmakers spent about a third less on the average public college student last year than they did before the recession, according to a recent report.
The Legislature spent just over $4,600 per student at public campuses in 2013, down from almost $6,900 per student in 2008, data collected by the State Higher Education Executive Officers association show.
The decline in state spending was the 10th steepest in the nation. All but three states spent less than they did before the recession.
"The state made major reductions in funding, and they had to spread that decreased appropriation amongst more students because enrollment increased," said Minnesota Office of Higher Education analyst Tricia Grimes.
To cover the difference, Minnesota colleges raised tuition. "Not very many areas of the state budget have another revenue source," Grimes said. "Higher ed does, and that revenue source is tuition."
Last year, Minnesota increased higher education funding, but that's outside the period covered in the study.