SHEF 2006-07
Q&A

ON SECTION 1
ON SECTION 2
ON SECTION 4
ON SECTION 5

On Section 1:
Annual Full-Time Equivalent Public Enrollment

Q: First professional students are not mentioned in the instructions for the FTE calculation. Are they to be included in the FTE count? If so, what is the denominator by which I should divide their total credit hours in calculating first professional FTE enrollment?
A:

Yes, first professional students should be included. This appears to be in keeping with the intent of the survey from its outset, as Kent Halstead's instructions always called for subtracting medical student FTE from the total FTE to arrive at net FTE. If first professional students have not been included in your state's count in the past, please include them from now on. If their inclusion will create a material difference in the calculated funding per FTE, let us know.

How should first-professional FTE be calculated? First, consistent state practice over time should be the primary guiding principle since the FTE denominator (i.e., funding per FTE) is central to standardizing any analysis over time and across states. That said, our view is that first professional FTE enrollments should be calculated in the same manner as graduate students -- total degree credit hours divided by 24 semester or 36 quarter hours. This too appears to be in keeping with the historical practice of this survey, as the instructions have never made a distinction between the two. If your state practice has been to use different denominators in calculating first professional and graduate student FTEs, please continue this practice and note it in the "Comments" box.


Q:

My state does not fund summer enrollment. Do you want summer FTEs included in the enrollment count?

A: Yes; this is true regardless of whether your state defines Summer term as the beginning or the end of the academic year. The fact that your state requires summer to be self-supporting needs to be reflected in state support per FTE. Also, your summer students are reflected in the tuition revenues reported in Section VI (Tuition).

On Section 2:
State Appropriations for Operating Expenses of Public Higher Education

Q: Where should we report higher education funding from the recent tobacco settlement?
A:

If these funds are appropriated, report the appropriation on Section 2, Part I, line 2, "Funding under state auspices for appropriated non-tax state support set aside by the state for public institution benefit." If they flow to institutions by some means other than a state appropriation, report them on Section 2, Part 1, line 3, "Funding under state auspices for non-appropriated state support".


Q:

In Indiana, the legislature passes a biennial budget, but the governor can make an administrative decision to withhold funds if it appears that revenues will not meet projections. However, this withholding does not reduce the amount of the sum originally appropriated. We had an administrative withholding of $10 million in FY 2003. According to my reading of the Grapevine survey instructions, we were not allowed to subtract this from our Grapevine figure. How can I ensure the SHEEO survey reflects this withholding?

A: Report the withholding on Section 2, Part II, line 8, "Appropriations that have to be returned to the state." Check the box indicating that this sum was included in your state's Grapevine figure, which indicates to us that it needs to be subtracted in SHEEO's calculation of net state support.
Q:

Why do you collect public institution tuition and fees used for capital debt service/retirement and capital improvement?

A: To maintain the comparability of total educational revenue (i.e. net tuition revenue + state and local support for higher education’s current operations) across the states, we will subtract an equal amount from appropriations so that total educational revenue does not exceed the total funds available for operations. See Section 5, line 1 Q&A for more information or visit the Q&A page.
Q:

You ask us to report state-appropriated student financial aid to students attending independent institutions (Section 2, Part II, line 18). Where should we report state-appropriated financial aid to students at public institutions?

A:

All state-appropriated student financial aid is assumed to be included your Grapevine state support figure, which we adopt as the starting point for this section of the SHEEO survey. The Grapevine instructions specify that you include all state-funded aid in your reporting of state tax support for higher education operations. We subtract aid to students attending independent institutions from this total in order to calculate state support for operating expenses of public higher education.

State-funded student financial aid to offset tuition and fees of public institutions is reported in the Tuition section as an adjustment to gross tuition.

On Section 4:
Research-Agricultural-Medical Appropriations to Public Institutions

Q: A portion of Georgia's tobacco settlement money is appropriated to public universities for research purposes. How should we report that?
A:

Because this particular funding is for research, include this amount in the sum reported in Section 4, line 1, "Appropriated sums for research centers." Be sure to also report this appropriation in Section 2 Part I (State Appropriations: Gross State Support) on line 2, "Funding under state auspices for appropriated non-tax state support set aside by the state for public institution benefit."

On Section 5:
Tuition

Q: In my state, a portion of tuition and fees for capital improvements is dedicated to capital debt services and capital improvement. Should we include the tuition and fee dollars used for these purposes in our gross tuition and fees?
A:

Yes. Please include the tuition and fee dollars used for capital purposes in your gross tuition and fees because we believe it is important to track total student contributions.

In SHEF, we treat all revenues paid by students as being available for student instruction. To maintain the comparability of total educational revenue (i.e. net tuition revenue + state and local support for higher education’s current operations) across the states, we will subtract an equal amount from appropriations so that total educational revenue does not exceed the total funds available for operations. We will use the item 13 in Section 2 for the adjustment to total educational revenue and state appropriations for operations.


Q: Why do you subtract waivers/discounts and state-appropriated student financial aid from gross tuition, while you don't subtract institutionally-funded student financial aid?
A:

It is important to remember that the primary focus of this study is on state resources for operating expenses of public higher education. Each item in this section of the survey must be considered for its impact on net tuition, one of the two primary sources of state revenue. Working through the logic of this section line-by-line:

1. Begin with gross tuition and fee assessments; i.e., what public institutions would have collected had all students paid the advertised sticker price.

2. The value of all tuition waivers and discounts is subtracted because these enrollment incentives offered to students reduced the tuition revenue that would have been collected.

3. State-appropriated aid is subtracted because it was included in the base appropriations data in Section 2, "State Grapevine Data," and only that portion of state-funded financial aid that went to students in independent and out-of-state institutions was subsequently backed out in Section 2. Tuition as a source of operating revenue must be reduced by the amount of financial aid the state has already provided.

4. Tuition and Fees for medical students is subtracted to remain consistent with the subtraction of related enrollments and appropriations. Medical enrollments, appropriations and tuition revenues are set aside to improve the validity of interstate comparisons.

5. Institutionally-funded financial aid is not backed out because it simply represents another source of gross tuition receipts (like student work or family savings).