Making the Case for Equitable State Support

Penn State appeals for a funding boost to get on equal footing with Pennsylvania's other public universities.

bar graph of state funding per student for three institutions alongside national average by Nick Sloff '92 A&A

In order to close the “significant disparity” in per-student funding for Penn State, which ranks last among public universities in Pennsylvania and among the lowest in the nation, the Board of Trustees voted in September to request a funding increase of $115.2 million, or 47.6%, for its 2023–24 general support appropriation from the state.

General support, one portion of the overall state funding package, covers core teaching costs in Penn State’s education budget. The university currently receives $242.1 million from the state to fund education expenses. The university called a funding increase “critical” to its ability to offer a reduced in-state tuition rate.

“As Pennsylvania’s only land-grant university, we feel strongly that Penn State students and their families deserve as much funding per student as the other state-related universities in Pennsylvania,” President Neeli Bendapudi said. “To support our students at a lower funding level than those at other institutions impacts our ability to maintain access to and affordability of a world-class Penn State degree for all qualified Pennsylvanians.”

Overall, Penn State is requesting total state funding of approximately $469.5 million for 2023–24, an increase of $125.5 million, or 36.5%, over 2022–23. For more on the status of state support for the university, go to