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We’d like to give a special thanks to Alizah Thornton, a senior from Clarion University and our new summer intern, for writing this blog. Welcome aboard, Alizah!

Harrisburg, Pa – Sen. Jake Corman spoke regarding the budget and the importance of the state-owned and state-related colleges and universities at the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon Monday, May 21. Corman, majority chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, discussed why the Senate prioritized restoring the 20 percent cut in funding Gov. Tom Corbett proposed for the state-owned and state-related colleges and universities. Corman noted that over the past ten years, the state has essentially flat-funded higher education: in 2002, PASSHE received $471 million from the state, and in 2011 it received $503 million (including federal stimulus dollars).

Corman stressed that public universities have a mission to provide access to the students of the Commonwealth. State support plays a key role in keeping in-state tuition affordable for students and their families. Corman stated that the state provides almost $1 billion in higher education funding and resident students at the state-owned and state-related universities get a tuition discount of $1.8 billion. A Pennsylvania student at a PASSHE institution will pay approximately $40,000 less in tuition than an out-of-state student.

Corman said the legislature should consider the economic benefits of Pennsylvania’s higher education institutions, and the return on investment the state receives from supporting public colleges and universities. He noted that in towns such as Clarion and Indiana, the local university serves as the largest employer in the region. The State System is the 13th largest employer in the Commonwealth.

The Senate budget restores funding for the State System, the four state-related universities, and the 14 community colleges to last year’s levels.

The speech was broadcast on PCN. To watch the full speech visit