(The Center Square) – The state House agreed Tuesday to boost support of Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities in exchange for a tuition freeze in the 2024-25 academic year.
Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University will receive $640 million more from the state after months of legislative wrangling.
Critics long scoffed at the boost because university officials wouldn’t commit to a tuition freeze despite the state’s losing battle to attract and retain college graduates. They pointed to the state-run system, where tuition has stayed flat for five years despite growing legislative contributions.
House Minority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Quarryville, said the freeze, combined with legislation strengthening public records access at state universities, was worth waiting for.
“The days of blank checks to state-related universities must come to an end and the House passing legislation with a tuition freeze requirement, along with legislation yesterday to increase transparency of the state-related system, is a good starting point to accomplish that goal,” he said.
House Democratic leadership likewise said the deal came together as a result of their persistent efforts to over “roadblocks from a handful of extremists.”
“Every Pennsylvanian has a friend, a relative or a co-worker who attends or attended one of our world-renowned state-related universities,” said Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia. “By blocking this funding, Republicans put our students, universities, and communities at risk, but I’m proud that today we secured funding for these schools and a tuition freeze for students.”
The bill returns to the Senate for concurrence.