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Temple Tuition Could Go Up $12K, Penn State $10K Due to Pa. Budget Stalemate

Say goodbye to in-state tuition discounts at PSU, Temple, and Pitt if state lawmakers can't quickly agree on a way to fund the $32 billion budget.
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Liacouras Walk at Temple University | Photo credit: Betsy Manning/Temple University Photography

Pennsylvania’s infamous budget stalemate could end in-state tuition discounts at at least three – and likely more – state-related schools.

PennLive reports that officials from Temple, Penn State, and Pitt say they’ll have to cut back on funding offered to Pennsylvania residents if state legislature is unable to agree on a plan to meet the $32 billion budget in a timely fashion. 

On Tuesday, the state House of Representatives voted 102-88 to pass a budget-balancing plan that relies heavily on tobacco borrowing and tax increases, which the GOP-controlled House had previously objected to. It’s unclear if the bill is likely to advance in the state Senate. Gov. Tom Wolf has not yet weighed in on the legislation.

Pa. House Majority Leader Dave Reed told PennLive that on Wednesday, the House will consider funding bills for state-related schools, including Temple, Penn State and Pitt, as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school,. In the meantime, the roughly $650 million the state is expected to provide to those universities is at risk.

Here’s what’s at stake at each of the schools, per PennLive:

Temple University

In a recent op-ed published on philly.com, Temple president Richard M. Englert wrote that the university is counting on its annual $150 million appropriation from the state, which has supported the university financially since 1965.

Englert wrote that nearly 22,000 undergraduate students receive a discount of almost $12,000 a year, totaling $48,000 over four years.

“We urge our elected leaders in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to take action and pass the stalled legislation that provides Temple and our fellow state-related schools with the funding that opens doors for talented, deserving Pennsylvania students,” Englert wrote. “Let’s keep the public in Philadelphia’s public university.”

Penn State

In-state tuition discounts at Penn State save 55,000 students roughly $10,500 on average, university officials told PennLive. The school has relied on funding from the Commonwealth since 1887.

Zack Moore, Penn State’s vice president for government and community relations, told the publication that if the university isn’t guaranteed the roughly $300 million it receives from the state by the next board of trustees meeting in November, the university will likely consider a mid-year tuition hike.

Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh has received appropriations from the state since 1966. Officials say the school counts on $150.6 million in funding per year.

Joe Miksch, Pitt’s media relations director, told PennLive that the consequences of not receiving that funding would be “immediate and severe” and that “the university would be forced to evaluate the financial impact on its regional campuses and likely make some hard decisions.”

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