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Our Universities. Our Future.​



When Pennsylvania’s public universities flourish, Pennsylvania succeeds. A continued investment in the universities comprising the State System of Higher Education is an investment in the success of every Pennsylvanian.

Serving more than 100,000 degree-seeking students, your State System is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Talented faculty at each of our 14 universities deliver an affordable, high-value, high-quality educational experiences to their students.

Your public universities provide a remarkable return on investment. The economic value of a college education is continuously shown to have a tremendous impact on career earnings.

But the benefits extend well beyond our students: Every $1 the Commonwealth invests in your State System generates $11 in local and state economic impact. Nearly 90 percent of our students are Pennsylvanians, and the vast majority remain in the Commonwealth, where they continue to purchase, invest, and pay taxes. An investment in our public universities is clearly an investment in our shared future.​

These are the facts:


  • By 2020, more than 60 percent of jobs will require at least some postsecondary education; one-third of the state’s projected job openings will require a

  • bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • Pennsylvania residents who receive scholarships and grants can attend one of our universities for about $4,000 less per year than other public bachelor’s- degree-granting universities.

  • Our universities graduate more students than any other sector. Despite the changing demographics that led to an 11 percent decrease in enrollment, our universities have conferred 10 percent more bachelor’s degrees over the last five years.

  •  Our universities have increased enrollment in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and allied health (STEM-H) programs by 40 percent since 2009. The occupations in Pennsylvania associated with these fields are projected to grow by approximately 176,000 jobs by 2024.

  • Employers continue to desire graduates with a combination of both workforce- specific skills and broad-based knowledge. Three-fifths of the degrees conferred by our universities are in the areas such as business, education, humanities and liberal arts, health, and social sciences.

  • A recent national study clearly demonstrates that public universities continue to be the institutions that propel students out of poverty and into the middle and upper class.

  • On average, college graduates earn 56 percent more than high school graduates, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Investment request:


  • The Board of Governors sought an increased investment of $61 million, for a total 2017-18 appropriation of $505.2 million, so our universities can continue to help the Commonwealth succeed.

  • The State System has cut more than $300 million in base budget costs over the last decade.

  • Important facilities projects have been delayed, leaving some campus buildings badly in need of repairs. More than half of all academic facilities have not undergone a major renovation in 25 years or longer.

  • Our universities employ nearly 1,000 fewer employees than seven years ago.

  • Our universities receive only 27 percent of their funding from the Commonwealth; they received 63 percent when the System was founded.

  • If the Commonwealth still appropriated 63 percent of the System’s operating budget, tuition could be less than half of its current average price. An increase in appropriation means more opportunity for students.

  • Even as we seek greater investment from the Commonwealth, the State System is undertaking an in-depth, strategic review to examine every aspect of how we are organized—from top to bottom—for the purpose of positioning our universities for a vibrant future.

Social Media:


The State System’s 2017 social media campaign built on the momentum created in 2016 from the #InvestInMe​ social media campaign and focus on engaging not only students, but all stakeholders who are impacted by the investment of our universities. The State System utilized the hashtag #InvestinOURuniversities to share facts or stories demonstrating the return on investment to the Commonwealth. Our universities utilized a university-specific version of the hashtag, such as #InvestinBloom, to not only share System facts, but how they locally impacted the Commonwealth. In 2017 we also joined the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) in using a hashtag that unites us all, #fundPAfuture.