Tuition at Utah’s four-year public institutions is the third lowest in the U.S. Even so, affordability is an issue of concern. State spending per student in USHE decreased since 2008, reflecting the revenue shortfalls during the 2009-11 recession at the same time enrollments surged. As a result, more of the cost of a higher education is now paid through student tuition. Since the recession, state support has increased, but as enrollments and costs also increase it will be crucial that state support keeps pace.

Cost is a particular concern for Utahns given larger family sizes (3.12 persons per household, compared with 2.63 nationally) and thus the likelihood of more students attending college from the same family. Continued state support, covering more than half of the cost of students’ postsecondary education, is critical to maintain college affordability in Utah.