Financial Support for Higher Education

May 5, 1948

Report Outline
Wartime Changes in Sources of College Funds
Traditional Support of Higher Education
Future Needs and Questions of Financing

Wartime Changes in Sources of College Funds

Impact of Veteran Enrollment on Colleges

Institutions of higher learning in the United States are now receiving well over one-third of their current operating income from the government at Washington. In 1939, before World War II, federal grants provided only 6.8 per cent of the operating income of American colleges and universities; in 1929, before the great depression, only a little more than 4 per cent. This striking rise in federal outlays for higher education has been the result of various national education and training programs instituted during and since the war, the chief of which is the program under the G. I. Bill of Rights.

The peak of the veteran education program is believed to have been reached in the scholastic year 1947–48, with former service men and women making up about half the college students in the country. A rapid decline in veteran enrollment is expected in future years but the President's Commission on Higher Education recommended, in a series of reports submitted last December, that federal expenditures for higher education be increased, rather than diminished, to afford suitable opportunities for all young people who can profit from advanced study.

During the war the Army and Navy supported research projects in colleges throughout the country, in addition to establishing training schools on the campuses. Since the war federal support of research projects in the universities has been expanded and research scholarships and fellowships for specialized work have been granted by the Army and Navy, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Public Health Service and other federal agencies. In the autumn of 1947 the President's Scientific Research Board reported that about 300 colleges and universities were conducting research projects supported in whole or in part by federal funds.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Education and Funding
Aug. 31, 2018  Education Funding
Jun. 27, 2016  Student Debt
Dec. 06, 2013  Humanities Education
Apr. 19, 2013  Law Schools
Nov. 20, 2009  The Value of a College Education
Dec. 10, 1999  Reforming School Funding
Aug. 27, 1993  School Funding
Dec. 24, 1948  Federal Aid to Education
May 05, 1948  Financial Support for Higher Education
Sep. 03, 1937  Federal Grants for Education
Aug. 20, 1934  Federal Aid to Education
College Financing and Funding
Undergraduate and Graduate Education