PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

President Barron Reviews University Budget At Student Forum

President Eric Barron, in a continued effort to encourage open dialogue between himself and students, hosted a forum Monday afternoon to discuss the University’s budget allocations and their impact on students.

Barron opened his presentation with an overview of Penn State’s total operating budget of $4.6 billion, and explained where that money comes from and how it’s divided. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the budget comes from tuition and fees (34.5 percent), then from hospitals and clinics (32 percent), followed by restricted funds (13.8 percent).

“The picture develops very clearly that it costs a certain amount to provide you with a quality education,” Barron explained. “I can benchmark how efficient I am against these institutions to compare how much I have to invest with how much money my peers have to invest.”

Tuition funding surpassed government appropriation funding for the university in the 1980s. The gap between the two continued to grow, and has never been larger. Currently, Penn State receives the least amount of government appropriation funding in the Big Ten.

“I know I’m in the bottom half of the Big Ten in terms of the amount of money that I have to spend,” Barron said. “On the other hand, the ranking of Penn State among public institutions in the Big Ten puts us at No. 2 or No. 4, depending on the year. So, the quality rank delivered by our dollars is in the top quarter of the Big Ten.”

Barron used this complexity to argue that no other Big Ten institution invests more effectively than Penn State.

“We’re not wasting our money on things that don’t deliver quality, and the quality of this institution is something that’s going to affect you for the rest of your life,” he said.

Barron made note of some highlights that come at the price of attending the university. Penn State’s World Campus was recently ranked No. 1 for Bachelor’s programs among online degree offerers, and 40 percent of the university’s entering students are first in their family to go to college, which Barron said is “a huge statement of the value of the degree.”

Earlier this month, Governor Tom Wolf proposed a 23 percent increase in appropriations to Penn State, which would total $49.6 million in additional funding. If the legislation is approved, it would put the university in a position it has not been in many years. The $49.6 million would allow for a tuition freeze for in-state students and help fund new and innovative programs. Barron cited more opportunities for students to work one-on-one with faculty as well as other study abroad options.

Barron ended the budget forum by taking student questions. Multiple graduate students voiced their concerns over affordable housing and graduate insurance. One student asked if there were plans to “level the playing field” when it comes to allocating funds towards the humanities versus STEM fields.

“You’re telling me it’s important, and it’s on our list,” Barron responded, assuring that he acknowledged the concerns.

Monday’s forum, which was titled the “President’s Forum on the Penn State Budget,” served as a follow-up to last semester’s forum on student affordability and economic impact at Penn State.

The student forum was recorded and live-streamed online, and will be made available through budget.psu.edu.

About the Author

Claire Marchon

Contributor for Onward State, from the San Fransisco, Bay Area. I am probably the biggest Simon & Garfunkel fan you've ever met; I might also be the only Simon & Garfunkel fan under 50 you've ever met. Either way I think it is very important you know I love Simon & Garfunkel.

Comments

More by Claire

The Problem With Yik Yak

The mint green application is relatively straightforward: It features a page filled with 200 character maximum, anonymous posts. In between the dozens of expressions of sexual angst and harmless jokes, however, there are posts written by students who abuse the opportunity for perceived anonymity.

Penn State’s Tea Institute Is Steeped In Asian Tradition

Penn State’s Funniest Students: Meet Full Ammo Improv

Athletics

North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend