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Penn State to Request $19.8 Million Appropriation Increase

by on November 10, 2017 3:30 PM

Penn State's Board of Trustees on Friday approved a budget plan for 2018-19 that will include a request to the Commonwealth for a $19.8 million increase in the university's annual appropriation.

If state legislators and the governor were to fulfill the request, it would bring Penn State's total appropriation to $337.9 million. The university's state funding has remained flat at $318 million each of the past two years.

An increased appropriation would still mean tuition hikes next year, increases the university says will be kept "as low as possible." Tuition rates would increase 1.75 percent for Pennsylvania resident students and 2.27 percent for non-Pennsylvania students if the request is fully funded.

Part of the reason for the tuition increase is to fund the first year of a five-year capital plan that was approved in July.

The budget plan includes compensation increases for faculty and staff, a $2 million increase for need-based student aid, and support for facility maintenance, operations, strategic initiatives and innovation.

Penn State usually makes its appropriation request in September, but that was delayed as Penn State's 2017-18 funding was held up during the General Assembly's budget impasse. Funding for the current fiscal year was finally released in late October.

The appropriation request for 2018-19 includes a 6 percent increase of $13.8 million for the Educational and General Budget and  an increase of $3.1 million for cost increases and to restore program funds in Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension. 

It also seeks an increase of $2 million in funding for Penn College to bring its appropriation to $24.1 million, and an increase of $800,000 in state and federal medical assistance funds for Penn State Hershey Medical Center, which would bring its appropriation to $14.2 million.

The budget plan targets $34.1 million in expense reductions, including reduced health care costs and operating subsidies for revenue-generating units.

“This request recognizes fiscal realities at the state level, but also the desire to hold tuition increases as low as possible for our resident undergraduate students, and only funding costs related to the five-year capital improvement plan that advance critical investments into aging infrastructure and future needs across the institution,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “We look forward to ongoing conversations with the Commonwealth about the value of the appropriation to drive economic development across the state and to also enhance access and affordability for students.”  




Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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