Committee recommends 2020-21 state appropriation request of $359.8M

September 12, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning today (Sept. 12) recommended a state appropriation request totaling $359.8 million for fiscal year 2020-21, representing an increase of $22.6 million over 2019-20. 

The University’s appropriation request still requires the approval of the full board during its meeting on Sept. 13.  

Each year, Penn State’s appropriation directly benefits approximately 53,000 Pennsylvania resident students and their families who receive an in-state tuition rate. State support also aids Penn State Agricultural Research and Extension operations that have a profound impact on one of the commonwealth’s critical industries, and provides important funding for Pennsylvania College of Technology and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, in support of Penn State’s land-grant mission to benefit the citizens of Pennsylvania.

This year’s appropriation request includes $2.35 million for economic development initiatives, which would allow the Invent Penn State initiative to strengthen and grow its network of innovation hubs, or “LaunchBoxes,” across the commonwealth. To date, Invent Penn State has created 21 innovation hubs in Commonwealth Campus communities statewide, supporting nearly 2,500 early-stage startup businesses. If provided, the additional funding would enable Penn State to expand its entrepreneurship programming and pilot four new innovation hubs in underserved areas of the state. These centers offer co-working space, business accelerator programs, legal and intellectual property advice, and rapid prototyping resources — all free to the community — to drive innovation and economic growth.

“Penn State has enjoyed a longstanding, mutually beneficial partnership with the commonwealth, one that has positively impacted the lives of Pennsylvanians for generations,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “We are thankful for the support of leaders in Harrisburg, as our state appropriation plays an important role in our ability to provide the type of world-class education that both we and the people of Pennsylvania expect. Increased funding will allow Penn State to help meet the state’s most pressing needs in a new age as we educate tomorrow’s workforce, seek innovative solutions to society’s greatest challenges, provide access to high-quality medical care, and foster economic growth and prosperity.”

If the board approves the appropriation request and the state provides the additional support, the University’s appropriation would increase from $337.2 million this year to $359.8 million in 2020-21, an overall increase of 6.7%.  

Penn State’s 2020-21 appropriation request includes:

  • $256.6 million for the University’s general support appropriation, an increase of 6%, or $14.5 million, over 2019-20 — funding that helps to defray the cost of a Penn State education for Pennsylvania resident students. 
  • $58.3 million for Agricultural Research and Extension, an increase of 6%, or $3.3 million. These programs serve citizens and the agricultural industry in all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Because these activities are not supplemented with tuition, appropriation increases are necessary to keep pace with the rising cost of providing critical research and support for Pennsylvania agriculture. 
  • $28.3 million for Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, an increase of 6%, or $1.6 million. Penn College is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn State with a focus on applied technology education in high-demand fields, including nursing and health sciences; construction; and industrial, computing and engineering technologies. 
  • $14.2 million for Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, an increase of 6%, or $804,000, for state and federal medical assistance funding.
  • $2.35 million in new funding for economic development, in support of continued growth of the Invent Penn State initiative and its network of innovation hubs in communities statewide. 

This is the first step in the appropriations process, and there are many factors that contribute to a final state appropriation and 2020-21 University operating budget, which will be adopted by the Board of Trustees in July 2020.

Last Updated September 12, 2019