Serving statewide coordinating and governing boards in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education.
Recession, Retrenchment, and Recovery Project

The Recession, Retrenchment, and Recovery Project was conducted by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University in collaboration with SHEEO and and the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP). The project examined the effects of recessions on students' financial access to college during the 25-year period 1979-2004, identified states that have been relatively successful in maintaining financial access, and collected policy strategies used by these states. A particular concern was the impact of recessions on financial access-the balance of state financial aid and tuition and fees-for students attending public institutions.

This project had three phases:

  • Analysis of 25-year trends in state appropriations for higher education, allocations to student financial aid, and changes in tuition and fees at public institutions in the context of national recessions.

  • Survey of state higher education organizations to ascertain how they dealt with the 2001 recession with a focus on priorities that guided state funding, allocation decisions and strategies for maintaining financial access.

  • Interviews with higher education, student financial aid, and governmental leaders in seven states that ranked well on one or more measures of financial access.

Reports from the Project
Executive Summary
Vol I: Full Report
Vol II: State Profiles
Project Data File (excel)

The Recession, Retrenchment, and Recovery project was funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education. More information can be found on the Project website.