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ATLANTA -- A report by the National Science Board says Georgia's major public research universities lost 37 percent of per-student state funding between 2002 and 2010.

That ranked as the 5th largest drop nationally, though it still left Georgia as 22nd in per-student spending for the 2009-2010 school year.

The report published Tuesday looked at several financial measures at 101 major public research universities.

Between 1992 and 2001, Georgia increased its per-student funding 73 percent, the highest in the nation. In that span, lawmakers poured money into HOPE scholarships, while increasing direct appropriations to schools.

Nationally, the recent trend shows declining state support, rising enrollment and tuition hikes that outpace inflation, with public universities spending less on research. The National Science Board says this threatens access to quality science and engineering education.

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