Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Committee Chair

Dr. Rajeev Darolia

Executive Summary

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, public universities have consistently seen their state funding decrease over the past several years. Using data from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and Kentucky Office of State Budget Director, this paper analyzes the relationship among postsecondary education state and federal funding and full-time undergraduate student enrollment in Kentucky’s 4-year public universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. According to the Courier Journal, in 2019 “Kentucky was 1 of only 5 states to cut money for higher education” (Watkins). With the fluctuation of higher education funding in Kentucky, the concern is how universities will be forced to react to meet financial needs and how tuition increases impact student enrollment. Trends from previous years in Kentucky help provide insight into the relationship state and federal funding has had with enrollment in public higher education institutions. Two regressions models illustrate the correlation between state and federal funding changes and enrollment. In-state tuition rates, out-of-state tuition rates, and Kentucky’s unemployment rate were also considered. Following the two initial regressions, institutional-based regressions were ran to illustrate how each individual institution reacts to state and federal funding changes, resident and out-of-state tuition rate changes, and the unemployment rate fluctuations. The results from the regressions did not provide enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis. Each institution responds differently to the variables.