A well-written letter to your legislator allows you to give more information than a phone call, and often has a greater impact than an email, for example:
I urge you to support increased funding for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, which would help ensure that future students like me have access to a high-quality affordable State System degree. As a constituent who attends (your university) studying (your program) who will soon (your employment plans), I thought I should bring the positive effects of the State System to your attention.
From my experiences, I know I am well-equipped to positively contribute to Pennsylvania's economy. Did you know? Within 18 months of graduation, 92 percent of alumni are employed, continuing their education, or serving in the military. What's more, on average, 40 years after graduating, System alumni receive a return of investment of more than $866K.
For Fiscal Year 2023-24, the System is seeking a 3.8% increase ($21 million), average annual percent increase in inflation over the past three years, for an investment of $573.5 million to enable the State System to freeze undergraduate tuition for all students for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year.
PASSHE is also seeking $112 million for a separate strategic investment to enroll and graduate students prepared for careers in fields with significant labor shortages: business, education, computer science, engineering, nursing, and social services. $99 million of that amount would be used for student financial aid, lowering the price to attend a university, which is a major cause of the current labor shortage.
Your investment will pay dividends. PASSHE universities produced about 7% of all workers in Pa. over the past 15 years, and PASSHE universities contribute nearly $8 for every one dollar of public funds expended!
I urge you to support increased funding for PASSHE and students like me. May I count on your support? I look forward to receiving your answer.
Thank you for considering my request on this matter. I hope that my expressed support will make a difference in your decision as you consider the FY 23-24 state budget.
Consider these best practices:Use a letter to follow up on your phone call or visit.
Use a letter to follow up on your phone call or visit.
- Keep your letter to one page or less and focus on a single subject.
Handwritten, legible letters are exceptionally effective.
Open the letter in an official manner, using the title of the office and the official’s full name. Use
appropriate titles, e.g., Representative or Senator (may be addressed as Honorable).
- Identify yourself as a constituent residing in his or her legislative district. Provide your name, return address, and telephone number including the area code.
- Summarize your position in the first paragraph and use the rest of the letter for explanation and supporting information.
- Tell your story about how your State System education has touched your academic or professional life.
- Ask for specific action—increased support for the State System—and tell them why it’s important.
- Share your thanks and restate your most important message.
- Run spell/grammar check before sending!