Every state has a state university system, although that was not always the case. (New York didn’t begin the SUNY system until after World War II, a fact that did not impede the state’s growth and prosperity.) Looking at the financing of those university systems, however, you find great differences in the degree to which they depend on government appropriations. Some states rely heavily on state funding, whereas others have chosen to constrict the money pipeline from the state capital to the universities and depend more on voluntary support.
I was interested in knowing just where North Carolina stands, so the Pope Center did an analysis of the financial data for each state found in the 2004 Almanac Issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.