Promise for Cheaper Tuition

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HARRISBURG -- When Newswatch 16 met Daniel Le, he was supposed to be in class at Shippensburg University, but the college sophomore had a good excuse for missing class.

"I emailed my professor and he said I could miss my class to come here," said Le.

Le came to the Capitol building in Harrisburg to see Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center unveil a new report called The Pennsylvania Promise. The groups backing the plan believe it could make paying tens of thousands of dollars in tuition at a state-run university a thing of the past, at least for some Pennsylvania students.

"This is not free college. This is affordable college for Pennsylvanians," said Kenneth Mash, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.

"We've designed this in a way that restores affordable college for the broad middle class,” said Stephen Herzenberg.

The Pennsylvania Promise would:

  • Cover two years tuition and fees for high school graduates planning to attend a community college
  • Cover four years tuition and fees to a state school for high school graduates*
  • Provide grants for high school students planning to attend a state-related school like Penn State University
  • Provide grants for adult learners who don't have a college degree

* Families must make equal or less than $110,000 a year

The plan would cost about $1 billion and needs more support from lawmakers.

"We're supposed to be proud of going to college, and we're supposed to feel great about it, but a lot of times debt, loans, it leaves people feeling regretful," said Le.

Le wasn't just here to listen. He's an advocate for the plan which would prevent students like him in the future from stacking up debt. Le has a few years until he graduates and already has $30,000 in debt.

"It's something always on my mind, and sometimes it's hard to focus on school when you know everything reminds you that you're being financially destroyed," said Le.

The report recommends pulling from other state tax revenues including money that comes from fracking.

Keystone Research Centers hopes to share its plan at several state colleges this year. If it gets the OK in Harrisburg, The Pennsylvania Promise could be in place as early as fall of 2019.


  • Wal Becker

    Not ALL areas of this state are served by a community college. Why should my tax dollars servre area that ONLY have a Community College….


      The Dimms are attracted to the smell of other Dimms forming large voting clusters of poop until one day it ignites into a crap star radiating taxons that suck the life form normal people.

  • shamokinisnofun

    no need for college in ne PA. if you are born into the right family in these small towns you could always get a career in the local prison, county operational offices and county jail where you can be lazy the rest of your life and post on fb all day about the area drug problem, bad weather, high school sports, the eagles or pennstate or better yet take the harder route and get a “tough” education degree from Bloom and teach for a school district that should of been closed or merged 25 years ago.

  • Shiek Yerboutti

    Funny how non-Marxist the Marxist professors are when it comes to being paid. There is simply no justification for the cost of higher education.

  • Chairman Mao

    just what this country needs, more “educated” idiots. Debt is what keeps the masses down; it’s how Trump and his ilk exploit the 99%. This imbalance MUST be kept up, else it’ll turn this Country into chaos.

  • Glorious

    Here’s a novel idea, lets make the universities more fiscally responsible so they don’t continue to raise tuition at staggering rates. The students won’t cry and the taxpayers are not stuck with bill. Between capital spending and labor costs there is plenty to target.

  • joemama1980

    Our roads are still awful despite the new fuel taxes. Every year the budget is short and the state finds more ways to screw people who work for a living. If you want to go to college you can pay for it. Everyone else has. If you want to make college more affordable rein in the costs and waste. State schools pay administrators too much and offer too many useless classes. Liberal arts is not a career.

    • TRKRGR

      Just like Mansfield University makes you take Fairy Tale class where the professor comes dressed in drag. No kidding people, pathetic.

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