The reach of Title IX's requirements for schools to enforce their rules against sexual misconduct is subject to an important – but also nearly meaningless – limitation: The school needs to receive federal funding in some way for Title IX to apply, at all. In theory, this means that schools can be completely insulated from Title IX's requirements if they do not receive any federal funding.
The reality is that nearly every college receives federal funding or financial assistance in some way or other – often in the form of federal grants and financial aid for students.
Most of the College Funding in the U.S. is Now Federal
The growth of federal funding in the higher education setting has been recent and shocking. According to Inside Higher Ed, between 1987 and 2012, even though state funding amounted to 65 percent more than the federal government, federal funding overtook state sources in 2010. This means that federal funding has had a lot of ground to make up on state funding of higher education in those 25 years, but has actually managed to do it. As recently as 2013, federal funding for colleges and universities in the U.S. amounted to nearly $76 billion. State funding was at around $73 billion at that point.
Most of that funding went to private universities: Public colleges received an average of 16 percent of their funding from federal sources, and 21 percent from state sources.
However, these were only the overall trends. Different states rely more heavily on federal funding for their state schools, while other states allocate more in state tax dollars to their higher education. Even different types of schools can have widely differing sources of income – for example, community colleges and non-research universities tend to rely more on state funding than federal.
The Rise of Pell Grants and Tuition Prices, and the Fall of State Funding
The biggest culprits in the rise of federal funding for colleges in the U.S. have been Pell Grants, driven by an ever-increasing cost of tuition, and a steep decrease in state funding for colleges.
From 1988 to 2018, the cost of attending a four-year institution for one year in the U.S. increased 213 percent, vastly more than the rate of inflation. Students, especially those from lower-income families, have been forced more and more to rely on student loans to fund their education. A primary source of that funding has been the federal government, through their Pell Grant program. In 2010 alone, $36 billion passed from the federal government to colleges in the U.S. through the Pell Grant program.
Meanwhile, states have slashed their taxes and their budgets, with the effects hitting colleges the hardest. As federal funding for higher education has increased, state funding has stagnated or diminished – between 2000 and 2012, federal funding for higher education went up from $43 billion to $83 billion, while state funding fell from $78 billion to $71 billion.
National Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
With federal funding so common, the number of colleges that do not fall under the purview of Title IX is negligible. Students accused of sexual misconduct can generally assume that Title IX will impact their case. Calling Title IX advisor and defense lawyer Joseph D. Lento at (888) 535-3686 or contacting him online is an essential part of defending your rights.