State System of Higher Ed Chancellor Requests $573 Million During Budget Hearing

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Chancellor Dan Greenstein discussed the state-owned public university system’s funding request during the House Appropriations Committee budget hearing. PASSHE’s Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing is March 30.

The State System is seeking $573.5 million, an inflationary increase of 3.8% ($21 million) and $112 million in new funding for targeted student support and to freeze basic in-state undergraduate tuition for a 5th year. Nearly all the $112 million investment, $99 million, would be used for student financial aid to lower the price to attend a PASSHE university.

“PASSHE is proud of our partnership with the General Assembly, which allows us to provide a high-quality education at the lowest possible cost to students,” said Chancellor Greenstein. “This budget request is designed to strengthen the pipeline from the classroom to the workforce by helping more Pennsylvanians to afford college so they gain the knowledge and skills for in-demand, high-growth jobs. 

“Across Pennsylvania, communities need more healthcare workers to provide care, teachers to educate our children, engineers to improve our infrastructure, social workers to improve lives, and computer scientists to enhance and secure our digital world. Those needs match PASSHE’s strengths, and we’re ready to partner with the state to propel students into rewarding jobs that provide economic security for families and meet the needs of the marketplace.”

Pennsylvania’s workforce has a critical education gap: 60% of jobs require some higher education after high school, but only 51% of workers have it. Chancellor Greenstein said employers will not have the workers they need— and the products and services everyone relies on— unless more middle- and low-income students can afford to go to college to get the skills gained from a degree or short-term credential program.