HARRISBURG – Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) asked leaders on Monday at the four state-related universities to freeze tuition for Pennsylvania residents for the upcoming academic year.
In a letter addressed to the top officials at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University, Mastriano said the 5% funding boost from a portion of federal stimulus funds – coupled with the nearly $600 million appropriated by the General Assembly in the 2022-23 state budget – should be sufficient to freeze tuition for tens of thousands of Pennsylvania families.
A budget summary shows the specific funding amounts as follows, though the administration has indicated it will distribute $40 million in total:
- Pennsylvania University: $12.1 million for general support; $1.3 million for the Pennsylvania College of Technology
- University of Pittsburgh: $7.5 million for general support; $167,000 for rural education outreach
- Temple University: $7.9 million
- Lincoln University: $758,000
“Pennsylvania’s families simply cannot afford a tuition hike in addition to the rising costs in other parts of the economy,” Mastriano said. “These universities have received enough supplemental funding from the state for the upcoming year to avoid unnecessary tuition increases.”
A study of anonymous tax records published in the New York Times in 2017 revealed the median family income for students at Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University ranged from nearly $46,000 to just under $112,000. The proposed increases on these households could impact more than 122,000 students in the coming academic year.
“I realize the economic forces at work have not spared higher education,” Mastriano said. “Although a tuition hike offers a straightforward solution, it will cost Pennsylvania far more in the long run in lost economic opportunity.”
CONTACT: Josh Herman