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Penn State calls for historic increase in state funding

Penn State will push for a 47.5% increase in state general support funding after receiving approval from its board of directors on Friday.

If lawmakers give the historic request the go-ahead in the 2023-24 state budget, the university would receive $357 million in the next academic year. That’s $115 million more than Penn State received in 2022-23.

Penn State and three other state-affiliated universities — the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University — use General Support Credits to provide tuition discounts for in-state students.

Penn State officials argue that Happy Valley’s funding is not on par with funding from other state-related universities based on enrollment. Penn State receives fewer state dollars per student than Pitt, Temple, and Lincoln.

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“As the only land-grant university in Pennsylvania, we believe that Penn State students and their families deserve as much per-student funding as other Pennsylvania state-related universities,” Penn State President said. State, Neeli Bendapudi, in a press release.

All but one of the board members voted to approve the request at Friday’s board meeting.

The demand is now in the hands of lawmakers, who must flesh out the 2023-24 state budget by the end of June 2023. During the last budget cycle, some lawmakers questioned their support for general support funding linked to the state.

The university’s general support funding has remained stagnant for three consecutive years. Governor Tom Wolf unsuccessfully proposed a 5% increase in state funding to state-related universities in the 2022-23 budget, but then quietly transferred $40 million in coronavirus relief funds to these schools.

Penn State spokesman Wyatt DuBois said the university is currently reviewing federal guidelines to determine how it will use its share of the funds. Pitt announced he would use the money to provide $350 grants to his in-staters.

In recent months, Penn State has sounded the alarm about its $160 million deficit, despite its $1 billion endowment. Penn State attributed the money troubles to sluggish state funding, inflation rates, a self-implemented tuition freeze, and pressures on enrollment and revenue.

To combat the deficit, the university has raised 2022-23 tuition fees by 5% for undergraduate students in the state’s university park and 2% for their counterparts on the Commonwealth campus. A university-wide hiring freeze is also in effect until at least the summer of 2023.

Maddie Aiken is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Maddie by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .