Gov. Shapiro drafting plan to help Pennsylvania higher ed system that’s among the worst in affordability

Gov. Josh Shapiro plans next month to propose steps toward fixing a higher education system in Pennsylvania that is among the worst in the nation in affordability, his administration said Friday.

The administration didn’t release many specifics and said the Democratic governor would give more details in his Feb. 6 budget address.

By just about every measure there is, Pennsylvania is ranked at the bottom among states in the level of higher education aid, size of student debt and affordability of its colleges. Pennsylvania spends less per capita on higher education aid than any other state except New Hampshire, Shapiro’s administration said.

This year’s state government spending of about $2 billion on higher education is about the same as it was 15 years ago.

In his budget, Shapiro will propose “significant” aid for state-owned universities, community colleges and their students, the administration said.

The 14 state-owned universities and 15 independent community colleges should be united under a governance system that improves coordination between the schools and limits the competition and duplication between them, the administration said.

  • January 26, 2024
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