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News Releases

New report provides a finance plan to further align higher education funding to state goals

Nov 15, 2019, 15:10 PM by Elizabeth Liverman
Making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030 will require a better alignment of financial strategies, according to a new report.

Contact: Wendy Kang
(804) 225-4416

November 15, 2019

For immediate release

RICHMOND — Making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030 will require a better alignment of financial strategies, according to a new report.

The report, a Strategic Finance Plan for Virginia: Aligning Higher Education Finances and Strategies is a joint project of Lumina Foundation’s Strategy Labs, HCM Strategists and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia that began in 2018. The General Assembly also included a directive to develop a finance plan during the 2019 session. 

Key results from the report:
  • Virginia’s cost per degree is lower than the national average and has decreased over time — for each additional expenditure, Virginia’s public institutions, on average, provide a better return on investment than other states and over time.
  • When assessing expected demand for degrees, the state may not meet its best-educated state goal without an increased focus on credentials, certificates and associate degrees. For bachelor’s degrees, shortages could continue in specific demand occupational areas such as teaching, health care and technology.
  • Gaps in access and success by race and ethnicity, income and regions of the state threaten Virginia’s ability to reach its attainment goal. Closing these gaps must be considered in any funding strategy.
  • Virginia could begin to address these gaps by implementing funding strategies in three areas: (1) aligning existing funding with completion priorities (2) increasing affordability and (3) providing support to target populations.
The findings from this report informed SCHEV’s recent 2020-22 budget and policy recommendations. As a result of this analysis, the recommendations included an increased focus in investments in associate and certificate programs at the community colleges, need-based aid for students and continued support for operations at institutions to keep tuition and fee increases low.

SCHEV also recommended to further review costs of higher education and to explore other funding strategies. “The work provided by Strategy Labs provides us with an excellent foundation. In the coming year, we plan to continue to explore options to further align funding in partnership with institutions, the Governor’s office and General Assembly to ensure our higher education system is efficient, affordable, accessible and equitable for Virginia,”  said Peter Blake, Director of SCHEV.
Media resources — including links to downloadable high-resolution photos and logos, news advisories and releases — are available at
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan, please visit

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