PASSHE requesting 6.5% funding increase from state in order to freeze tuition

20 February 2024- Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Chancellor Dan Greenstein will discuss the state-owned public university system’s funding request during House and Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings on Feb. 21. 

PASSHE is requesting a state appropriation of $623.7 million — a $38 million, or 6.5%, increase over the current fiscal year. The requested funding reflects PASSHE’s goal of freezing tuition for another year while addressing inflation and other costs. Any additional state funding provided above the requested amount would help to further reduce students’ costs and increase student success. 

“Freezing tuition again is a priority for PASSHE and would benefit our students, many of whom are from low- and middle-income families,” said Chancellor Greenstein. “The State System has kept tuition flat for six years through a combination of greater investment from the commonwealth and cost reductions. Freezing tuition is proving to help students, spurring a 10% increase in new student enrollment over the last two years, increasing retention rates as students stay on course to graduate, and improving educational achievement and success for low-income and underrepresented minority students. The additional funding we are seeking would allow PASSHE to keep tuition frozen for a remarkable seventh year. That is a vital investment in PASSHE university students and their futures.” 

The budget hearings come amid much discussion about the broader higher education sector in Pennsylvania, prompted in large part by the governor’s proposal to create a new higher education system that would include the 10 PASSHE universities and the 15 community colleges, supported with additional funding. 

“We are very interested in engaging with the governor and all stakeholders regarding any proposal that could help our students, our institutions, and our state,” said Greenstein. “But even as we discuss proposed transformations for the future, we must not forget to take care of the present and increase PASSHE universities’ funding by 6.5% so we can freeze tuition again.” 

With more than 80,000 students across the State System, 10 PASSHE universities serve more Pennsylvanians – and are the most affordable – than any other four-year option in the commonwealth. 

Universities are informing prospective students about the extended commitment deadline and will work to provide financial aid offers as soon as FAFSA data is made available by the U.S. Department of Education.