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Funding Threatens Tuition Increases

New State Funding for Penn State and Pitt continues to be held up in the State House. University Leaders say it is money that has a direct impact on Student Tuition levels. Now a State Representative is blasting his Colleagues who are rejecting the funding proposals.

Penn State and Pitt are four of the Pennsylvania Colleges — Temple and Lincoln are the other two — that are classified as State-related Universities. Generally, all four annually receive a total of close to $650 Million in State Funding. Its a separate Legislative issue in the House and Senate.

This year, that Legislation has faced setbacks. The latest rejection was in vote Thursday night. Rep. Scott Conklin, (D) 77th District saying: “Last night again I believe for the fourth vote to fund Penn State, Pitt, Temple and my colleagues on the other side still refuse to vote. I don’t understand it, because every study shows that State College, Altoona, Johnstown, the amount of money that those Universities put into your communities is five to ten times what we give out.”

Those in the house opposed to the current funding levels for the State-related Colleges say its not a new issue. Rep. Bryan Cutler, (R) 100th District saying: “We’ve been sounding the alarm on this issues for the past four or five years. If you go back and look at the vote total, they’ve steadily been decreasing, people want reforms. They want reforms such as Tuition freeze. They want transparency. Right To Know Law access.”

Penn State’s Board of Trustees meets later this month. Tuition levels for the incoming year are usually set during the Trustees’ Summer meeting, with the State Funding amount being a crucial factor. After Thursday night’s rejection in the State House on the latest funding proposal for the colleges – there was cheering on the House floor.

Rep. Conklin, in closing: “Those same Colleagues are going to find out when this Summer is over and Student, Parents, Alumni all see Tuition bills. Penn State maybe goes up $6,000. Pitt goes up $10,000, Temple $12,000. I don’t think they’ll be cheering so much.

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