As a public institution, William & Mary does receive funding from the state. However, as pressures increase for public dollars to address other priorities – such as health care, K-12 education, transportation and public safety – the state funds available for higher education are limited. In 1980, the Commonwealth provided 43% of William & Mary’s operating budget. Today, even with recent increases from the state, it provides less than 14%.
While we anticipate W&M will receive some additional state funds going forward, we have been realistic about their likely extent. The state confronts enormous and growing demands on its resources, which are not likely to grow as robustly in the future as they have in many years past.
Doing more with less
William & Mary is the most efficient of the nation’s leading universities. According to a prior U.S. News report, W&M stands 110th for financial resources among major private and public universities, but it ranks far higher for overall quality: 33rd. That 77-spot gap between resources and quality is by far the largest among the top 50 universities in the magazine’s ranking.
In recognition of this gap and related criteria, U.S. News placed W&M fifth among all national universities for efficiency, that is, for “doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have far greater financial resources because of more state funding, higher tuition or larger endowments.” None of the four universities ahead of W&M for efficiency made the magazine’s top 50 for quality.