OK, I'll hold your hand for you, since you talk so sweetly:
Number of colleges in 2000 (technically Title IV postsecondary institutions): 6,479 In 2013: 7,236. Total increase of 11.9%. Source
Number of college students in 2000: 13.2 million In 2015: 17.0 million. Total increase of 29%. Source
But just so you don't accuse me of cherry-picking numbers, let's use the larger increase of 45% between 2000 and 2012 from Pew - they only consider full-time students.
From the same link:
A major shift has occurred in the relative levels of funding provided by states and the federal government in recent years. By 2010, federal revenue per full-time equivalent (FTE) student surpassed that of states for the first time in at least two decades, after adjusting for enrollment and inflation. From 2000 to 2012, revenue per FTE student from federal sources going to public, nonprofit, and for-profit institutions grew by 32 percent in real terms, while state revenue fell by 37 percent. The number of FTE students at the nation’s colleges and universities grew by 45 percent during the same period. Without adjusting for enrollment growth, total federal revenue grew by 92 percent from $43.3 billion to $83.2 billion in real terms, while state revenue fell by 9 percent from $77.8 billion to $70.8 billion after adjusting for inflation.
To sum up, enrollment increased by 45%. Number of schools rose by around 12%. Total state and federal direct funding (sans loans and tax credits) went from $121.1 billion to $154.0 billion, for a total of 27% increase in direct funding. In addition to that, tax credits have increased from around $12 billion to around $31 billion. Add that to the direct funding and you have $133.1 billion vs $185.0 billion, or a total increase of 39%. Enter student loans. I get that these are meant to be repaid (except the subsidy) and should not count as direct subsidy. But the fact remains that they have increased 376% in the same time period.
So if we use total enrollment, then direct funding has been approximately flat, but tax credits have increased substantially. If we use only full time students, then direct funding has decreased significantly, but when you add in tax credits the decrease is not as significant, around 6%. If you consider student loans to be a kind of subsidy, there certainly has been no decrease no matter how you run the numbers.
I'm on firm ground, even if I don't have your silver tongue.