State System of Higher Education Weighing Change in Allocating Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

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Pa. may reallocate state funding for education in an effort to support first-generation college attendees.

The State System of Higher Education is considering a big change on how it allocates hundreds of millions of dollars in its yearly state appropriation. The potential shift in resources is intended to focus on student success and provide better support to first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minority students. Bill Schackner cracked the books in bringing this story to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The State System of Higher Education’s board of governors is hoping these changes will reverse enrollment declines from families that earn $75,000 and less, which is part of the demographic that the State System was founded to serve in 1983.

The system — which includes West Chester and Cheyney Universities — had close to 120,000 students in 2010, which dropped to under 89,000 for fall 2021.

The proposed formula allocates up to 25 percent of funds based on core expenses to operate a university. The other 75 percent will take into consideration a base full-time enrollment over two years and emphasize groups that include underrepresented minorities and students from low-income families.

No set targets would be involved.

“We’re asking the presidents, their leadership — in consultation, obviously, with their communities — to establish their own targets,” said Chancellor Daniel Greenstein.

Read more about the proposed formula from the State System of Higher Education in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.