This week we’re looking at the average amount of instructional expenses per student. In some ways, you can consider it a monetary form of the student-faculty ratio. Theoretically, the more money spent on instruction, the better for the student.
However, like the student-faculty ratio, there are some significant limitations to these numbers. The amount is the average for full-time equivalent students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. So schools with a higher percentage of graduate students are likely to have higher averages because of the higher costs associated with educating graduate students.
There’s another problem in what expenses are actually considered under the instructional category. Institutions that use the GASB accounting method such as state institutions, do not include operation and maintenance of plant or interest in instructional expenses while those that use the FASB do.
Furthermore, the category can include “expenses for departmental research and public service that are not separately budgeted.” Schools with larger research expenses are more likely to budget them separately than those institutions that focus on teaching.
So instructional expenses per student, like most numbers we look at in education, is a messy number. Messy as it is, we’ll take a look at it anyway. The average instructional expenses for schools with 500 or more full-time undergraduates is $10,182. For public institutions it’s $9,332 and private it’s $10,779.
There isn’t much difference between private 50-50 schools non-50-50 schools. Public 50-50 universities spend an average of $200 more per student than non-50-50 schools. Private 50-50 colleges average over $800 more per student than non-50-50 private schools.
The following tables shows the top 10% of schools in instructional spending per students for 50-50 schools. The first table lists the private schools, the second the public universities. As usual, the four-year graduation rate is used for private schools and the five-year rate is used for public schools.
Private 50-50 Colleges with Highest Average Instructional Expenses per Student
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|4/5 yr |
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Private||MA||3959||70||22494||52|
|Sweet Briar College||Private||VA||680||54||22225||52|
|Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology||Private||IN||2186||66||20879||60|
|Sarah Lawrence College||Private||NY||1441||62||20142||52|
|University of Puget Sound||Private||WA||2522||68||17749||53|
|Ringling College of Art and Design||Private||FL||1212||56||17295||45|
|Saint Louis University||Private||MO||7210||61||16641||54|
|St Olaf College||Private||MN||3081||83||16054||53|
|Southern Methodist University||Private||TX||6119||67||15884||41|
|Catholic University of America||Private||DC||3456||62||15799||50|
|Illinois Wesleyan University||Private||IL||2001||72||15537||54|
|Roger Williams University||Private||RI||3875||50||15504||62|
|University of San Francisco||Private||CA||6111||57||15041||54|
Public 50-50 Colleges with Highest Average Instructional Expenses per Student
|4/5 yr |
|University of Illinois at Chicago||Public||IL||15402||51||25773||46|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||Public||WA||27050||78||23645||40|
|University of Connecticut||Public||CT||17219||81||20908||43|
|The University of Tennessee-Knoxville||Public||TN||19799||62||20792||42|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||Public||PA||38826||83||18073||39|
|University of Delaware||Public||DE||16852||79||17186||48|
|University of Kansas||Public||KS||17193||56||16874||42|
|University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||Public||PA||17483||79||16506||29|
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||Public||OH||40020||81||16161||43|
|University of Vermont||Public||VT||9764||75||16066||35|
|SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry||Public||NY||1647||69||15891||38|
|Purdue University-Main Campus||Public||IN||28659||64||15477||44|
|University at Buffalo||Public||NY||18091||68||15151||47|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick||Public||NJ||31759||76||14782||49|