A message from Penn State's president on state funding for higher education

Penn State President Eric Barron. Credit: Michelle Bixby / Penn StateCreative Commons

We are proud of Penn State’s role as Pennsylvania’s land-grant university and what it means to be a public institution. We fulfill our mission through excellence in education and a powerful commitment to service to the Commonwealth. Since 1855, the General Assembly has been our partner in helping us serve Pennsylvania’s residents. One of the hallmarks of our partnership has been an annual state appropriation that is approximately $250 million. As a direct result of this state funding, Penn State offers more than $570 million in tuition savings to nearly 55,000 Pennsylvania resident students.

This funding may be in jeopardy and we need your help

Now, three months after this fiscal year’s budget deadline, legislators in Harrisburg have not yet finalized the Commonwealth’s budget. Our state’s leaders continue to negotiate how best to raise enough revenue to fund the Commonwealth’s operations, but there is a fundamental question regarding whether the state has enough revenue to fund Pennsylvania’s public institutions of higher education, including Penn State.

This puts the in-state tuition rate in jeopardy, and it would compromise our ability to conduct the research, extension education and health services that are vital to our citizens.

I urge every Pennsylvania resident in our Penn State community to contact their state legislator to encourage them to finish the state budget and fund Penn State.  For those of you who do not reside in Pennsylvania, please be aware of this situation and how it may impact future Penn Staters and the amazing contributions that Penn State makes to society overall.

For more than 150 years the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has upheld our partnership by supporting our mission with an annual appropriation. Should the General Assembly fail to provide an appropriation for Penn State, there will be no funding to offset the cost of a Penn State education and in-state tuition is at risk.

To protect our university from devastating cuts that will impact our ability to deliver on our mission, we must make our voices heard in Harrisburg!

Whether you are a current student, parent, alumnus, employee, or supporter, you understand what Penn State has accomplished and what we strive to do as a public university. Click here to contact your state legislators and ask them to support Penn State University’s funding.

Access to an affordable world-class education is at the heart of our mission, and a key to making Pennsylvania a thriving, economically competitive state. Since 1855, Penn State University has responsibly served our citizens with the support of our elected officials in Harrisburg. Now more than ever we need to remind them to continue that support.

Thank you for your support, and for being a part of the Penn State community.

Raise the Song!

Eric J. Barron

Last Updated September 26, 2017