Failure to Pass State Budget May Affect Tuition

Pennsylvania has undergone a stalemate in their search for a 2015-16 fiscal state budget, which spells out major issues for the four state-related universities. Among those four are Temple University, Pennsylvania State University, Lincoln University and the University of Pittsburgh.

If PA fails to pass a budget, Temple will lack $150 million in their yearly budget. In-state students enjoy a $10,000 discount on tuition as compared to out of state Owls, $5,000 of which comes from the state. Considering the $150 million budget gap, in-state students could be asked to contribute to the deficit.

A Temple official has said they wouldn’t make up the deficit through a huge hike in tuition in one shot.

“We wouldn’t lay that on students all at once, how much we would have to actually do is still unclear,” said Ray Betzner, a Temple spokesperson.

Temple Student Government has joined forces with the other state-related universities to #PassIt.

Temple Student-Body President Ryan Rinaldi worries that the hikes in tuition may halt many students’ education

“If universities aren’t able to get those advances, you’re going to see students dropping out of college because they won’t be able to continue.

Governor Tom Wolf proposed the 2015-2016 budget in March of 2015, which marked an increase in the Commonwealths appropriations for the state-related universities. The budget for the fiscal year is usually set by July 1st. However, as it stands, a budget has yet to be passed.

That means Temple has gone 7 months without its state funding, and the university has started taking out loans to compensate.

Pennsylvania House member W. Curtis Thomas represents the district in which Temple is included in Harrisburg. He said that he has been a vocal supporter on Governor Wolf’s original budget and is advocating that Temple, and the other state-affiliate universities, get a 7% increase in the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget. If that increase happens, he says he wants to see Temple roll back tuition rather than raise it.

“The top dogs at Temple aren’t suffering when there’s a tuition increase” said Representative Thomas, “so why are the students?”

If there’s no money from the state by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th, however, Temple says they will have to ask everyone at the university to contribute. Students are included in that group.

“It’s very difficult to isolate students and say you will feel no impact based on this, if Temple gets no money” said Betzner.




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