​​​​​​View All Releases >​

 Image Viewer ‭[2]‬

 Image Viewer ‭[1]‬

 Content Editor


ICYMI: Editorial: Investments in State System would be an investment in the future

Contact: Kevin Hensil, khensil@passhe.edu

​The Uniontown Herald-Standard and numerous other Pennsylvania newspapers have published the editorial “Investments in State System would be an investment in the future” urging increased state investment in public higher education.

As the editorial notes, Pennsylvania has a labor shortage with a critical need for more college-educated workers and state-owned universities are primed to help, but additional state investment is needed so people can afford the higher education the Commonwealth needs them to obtain.

While Pennsylvania’s public universities have frozen tuition for the past three years, the state still ranks 46th out of 50 states in terms of state funding. Years of underfunding have left too many low- and middle-income students unable to afford the public universities that were established to serve them.  

After righting its own financial ship, the State System Board of Governors have requested – and Gov. Wolf has proposed – a significant funding increase for public higher education.

For students, 90% of whom are from Pennsylvania, the additional investment would mean a tuition freeze for a fourth consecutive year as their universities continue a robust transformation to best meet student and workforce needs in the constantly changing economy. It also means more student financial aid, especially for underrepresented students, so they can pursue their dream of a college education.

The significance of this funding request demonstrates the urgency of the State System’s needs. It will allow Pennsylvania to build on the Commonwealth’s commitment to increase funding for its state-owned universities, avoid a tuition increase for students, and keep a System degree within reach of low- and middle-income families as we all work together to close the state’s talent gap in critical high-demand fields.

Excerpt of the Uniontown Herald-Standard Editorial:

"If you were lucky enough to attend a public college or university in the United States from the 1960s to the 1980s, you might well have been able to graduate without accumulating any debt at all. However, as lawmakers in many states have hacked away at funding for higher education, the tuition costs borne by American students and their families have increased by more than 200% since the late 1980s. More specifically, the cost of attending a PASSHE institution over the last decade has escalated by 50%. As Cynthia Shapira, chairman of the PASSHE board, pointed out, this hefty price tag “puts a State System degree out of reach for many low- and middle-income families.”

"As part of a larger package that would increase revenue flowing to education across the board, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed in his budget address last week that PASSHE schools receive a $550 million, or 15%, increase in funding in the 2022-23 budget. This wouldn’t vault Pennsylvania into the top tier of state funding for schools, but it would at least get it out of the bottom five. More than a matter of pride, though, it would represent a much-needed investment in the state’s public universities."

Read the complete editorial. ​

Learn more about the System’s state funding needs and the ongoing redesign of Pennsylvania's public university System.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education oversees 14 four-year public universities educating more than 93,000 students across the Commonwealth. The State System offers more than 2,300 degrees and certificates in more than 530 academic areas.