PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



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

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.


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


Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Student Body President Cody Heaton Welcomes Class of 2022 At Convocation

UPUA President Cody Heaton welcomed the incoming Class of 2022 Saturday evening with an inspiring speech.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

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.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Penn State Officially Welcomes Class Of 2022 At Convocation

The Class of 2022 joined the Penn State family Saturday evening at Convocation.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend