A Simple Unifying Measure of State Support for Higher Education

Wiscape Banner


Main Office

School of Education
353 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/265-6342

Email: wiscape-info@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form


Facebook logo Twitter logo


A Simple Unifying Measure of State Support for Higher Education

Project Leads

Philip A. Trostel (BIO)

Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Department of Economics and Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy
University of Maine
Faculty Affiliate, WISCAPE

Justin Ronca

Project Assistant, WISCAPE
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Conflicting measures of state and local government support for higher education create confusion and misunderstanding that convolute the current debate about state funding for postsecondary education. This study, conducted by WISCAPE Faculty Affiliate Philip Trostel and WISCAPE Project Assistant Justin Ronca, contends that the use of multiple measures of state support for postsecondary education is largely unnecessary. Trostel and Ronca construct a simple, single measure that adequately quantifies both states' postsecondary need and states' ability to pay. The use of a common measure should help facilitate mutual understanding in the ongoing public discourse on the funding of higher education.

Trostel, professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine, conducted research for this project while on sabbatical leave as a Visiting Scholar at WISCAPE. The findings formed the basis of his presentation at the WISCAPE forum "Reexamining the Structure and Funding of Public Higher Education in Wisconsin" on October 26, 2006. In addition, Trostel and Ronca have published a peer-reviewed article based on this study in Research in Higher Education.

Related WISCAPE Publications

Related Papers and Presentations

  • Trostel, P. A., & Ronca, J. M. (2009). A simple unifying measure of state support for higher education. Research in Higher Education 50(3), 215-247.
© 2018 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.