When states decrease investment in public higher education, fewer bachelor's degrees are awarded, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The paper reported that appropriations from state governments had decreased by 16 percent since 1990 with a larger portion of the decline happening over the past decade. In 1990 the average appropriation per student was nearly $9000 per FTE. In 2017, it was $7600 per FTE.
Further reporting suggests that a 10 percent drop in state appropriations reduces bachelor's degree attainment by 3.6 percent. A 10 percent drop in state appropriations reduces PhD degrees at research universities by 7.2 percent.
Full Report: https://www.nber.org/papers/w25945.pdf