Total financial support by states for higher education declined 7.6 percent from the 2011 to the 2012 fiscal years, according to the annual Grapevine survey.

The Grapevine report, produced by Illinois State University’s Center for the Study of Education Policy in cooperation with the State Higher Education Executive Officers, found that 41 states reported drops in financial support for colleges and universities. The report attributes the decline in funding to the continuing effects of the economic collapse that occurred in 2008, as well as the end of federal subsidies from the stimulus package that was approved in 2009. When stimulus funds are factored out, the decline in financial support from fiscal 2011 to 2012 was only 4.1 percent.

"Total state fiscal support for higher education in fiscal year 2011-12 is 3.8 percent less nationwide than in fiscal year 2006-2007, just before the last recession began," the Center for the Study of Education Policy says in a news release. "Higher education systems in 29 states are now operating with levels of support that are 1.1 percent to 32.8 percent lower than the levels of support available 5 years ago."