​​​​​​​​​​​​​Robust state funding for the State System will help it advance its ability to innovate and transform. In doing so, it can better deliver on its public mission—one that is focused on students like us and our Commonwealth. ​​

  • The 2 percent increase in the annual appropriation is an essential means of keeping costs down for State System students.
  • A $25 million investment, part of a $100 million request for one-time funding profiled over four-years (FY 2021-22 to 2024-25), is an essential and now urgent means of continuing the System's fundamental transformation, its redesign.

The following talking points are meant to guide your communication as you advocate for increased funding for the State System during the 2021 Advocacy Campaign. 


 Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 Talking Points

Our Students

infographic-2021_students_570x426.png Most State System students come from Pennsylvania, and most will stay here after graduation. Regardless of zip code or family background, the System prepares students for professional and personal success.
  • Nearly 90% of State System students are Pennsylvania residents
  • 34% of undergraduate students are receiving Pell Grants
  • 1 in 7 college-bound PA high school graduates attend a State System university
  • 22% of undergraduates are first generation students
  • 20% of enrollment is comprised of adult learners
  • 600,000+ alumni live in Pennsylvania
  • 50% of undergraduate transfers are from Pennsylvania community colleges
  • Since 2010, underrepresented minority enrollment has increased by 31%


Our Graduates

infographic-2021_graduates_570x453.pngEmployment outcomes show the State System's universities do well preparing students for successful careers within their field of study, making System students vital contributors to the Pennsylvania economy.
Within 18-24 months of graduation,
  • 95% of alumni are employed or pursuing a post-baccalaureate program
  • 88% of alumni are working their field of study
  • 72% of alumni are working in Pennsylvania
  • Over two-thirds of business majors are working in business, finance, or accounting-related areas.
  • Ten years after graduating, Bachelor’s degree recipients have average annual earnings of $56,000.
  • On average, State System graduates receive a return of investment of$866,144 forty years after graduating.


Our Universities

infographic-2021_universities_570x580.pngState System universities offer innovative programs and opportunities, preparing students for high priority industries and occupations.
  • Of the more than 91,000+ bachelor's degrees conferred from 222 Pennsylvania institutions, 20% (or 1 in 5) are awarded by System universities, making the System the #1 producer of bachelor's degrees in PA.
  • Over 760,000 degrees and certificates have been conferred since the inception of the System in 1983.
  • Over the last decade, the number of bachelor's degrees awarded in STEM-H has increased 44%.
  • 29% of all bachelor's degrees are now in STEM-H, representing the most popular areas of study.
  • Business, the second most popular field of study, accounts for about one-fourth of those now graduating, followed by Education as the top third area of study.
  • During the 2019-20 academic year, the System approved 30 new degree programs and 39 new certificate programs.​​


Our System

infographic-2021_system_570x556.pngStudent success is our number one priority, and the System is passionate about transforming itself for the future. That success depends on robust support from the Commonwealth that keeps tuition low.
  • State System universities are the most affordable 4-year postsecondary option in Pennsylvania. At the same time, Pennsylvania ranks 48th among 50 states in the level of funding per student FTE, and the second least affordable state with respect of higher education—49th in terms of student affordability.
  • For Fiscal Year 2021-22, the System is seeking a modest general appropriation increase of 2 percent ($9.5 million) to $487 million to keep tuition affordable, and a $25 million line item appropriation as a means of continuing the System’s fundamental transformation, its redesign.
  • With the $25 million investment, between $70 million to $100 million in savings is expected over an eight year period, including $16 million to $22 million in ongoing savings.
  • For every $1 of state investment, System universities generate $11 in economic impact for a total of $6.7 billion in annual economic and employment impact—an average of $300 million per university.
  • The over 93,000 enrolled students and more than 600,000+ System alumni who live and work in every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties comprise as much as 10 percent of the population in any given legislative district.​