Budget Proposal Cuts Funding to Penn State Campuses

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Governor Tom Corbett's budget proposal announced Tuesday impacts funding for education.

While there are no cuts to school districts, state-run universities such as Penn State and Temple would see a 30 percent cut in funding. State owned universities would see a 20 percent cut.

Several of the state-owned and state-related colleges and universities are in our area and the steepest cuts will affect Penn State.

Penn State trustee Keith Eckel said Tuesday state funding makes up only a small fraction of Penn State's $4.5 billion budget, but, he said, any cut to the state funding will still have an effect on students.

"Other than cutting costs, which I feel is critically important at all levels, including higher education, the only way to make up that money is with tuition increases," Eckel said.

He added the governor's idea to cut 30 percent of Penn State's funding does not come as a surprise but, it's still concerning. The university's agriculture programs could be in jeopardy, since those extension programs can't be funded by tuition.

Currently, it costs a student close to $30,000 a year to attend main campus.

At satellite campuses, like the Worthington Scranton campus, tuition is a bit cheaper, but costs per credit may go up there too.

"Dealing with that and the quality of the education that you get, and the reputation that is there behind that name, it is far more valuable than what the tuition is," said student Toni Lee Savage.

While some students said if tuition goes up they will make it work, others feel the cost for a state education is already too high.

"I think it should be more affordable, especially with how hard it is to get a job out of college now," said student Nick Browning.

"It's already a lot of money, it's already enough money. It shouldn't go up any bit more," added freshman Nathan Lewis.

In addition to his proposal to cut funding to state colleges, Governor Corbett also announced plans to form a committee that will look at possible reforms to the state university system.