Students should stay informed on the status of Temple’s appropriations.
It’s not looking good for students hoping not to see a tuition increase in the 2011-12 academic year.
As reported in “Splitting the bill” on Page 1, Temple recently submitted the request for its annual appropriation to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and administrators are crossing their fingers.
Why should students care? Every fewer dollar Temple receives in funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one that will come straight from students’ pockets.
This year, Temple requested a 6.4 percent increase in funding from last year, totaling approximately $189 million.
Last year, Temple requested that same amount but only received $178.517 million – excluding a one-time payment of $7 million, considered federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Considering the historical pattern in decreasing state funding and increasing tuition, next year’s outcome could be more predictable than some might think.
In the 1972-73 fiscal year, more than 60 percent of Temple’s general and education budget came from state-appropriated funds, while only 34 percent came from tuition. That’s a skyrocketing contrast to the 2010-11 FY, when nearly 73 percent comprised student tuition – and only 20.9 percent was made up of state funds.
It’s a glaring trend, and for students who chose Temple for its affordability, it’s a frightening one.
Those who insist on keeping their wallets – and their student loan accounts – closed need to open their mouths.
The Temple News urges students to keep a close eye on what’s going on in Harrisburg with Temple’s appropriations and, most importantly, to contact their legislators when the time comes.
After all, it’s worked in the past.
Last year, when State Rep. John Taylor, R-Pa., and other lawmakers pulled a bill that could have caused a $5,000 tuition increase in reaction to Temple’s decision to close Port Richmond’s Northeastern Hospital, students and administrators banded together to flood local legislators’ e-mail inboxes and voice mailboxes with virtually the same message: “We simply can’t afford a 45 percent in-state tuition increase.”
More than 9,000 students, faculty, staff, parents and concerned citizens signed the “Fight for the Cherry and the White,” the university’s petition to uphold funding. In the end, the bill was upheld, and Temple received $175 million in funding.
As Ken Lawrence told The Temple News: “Government relations is everybody’s job.”
The more students take the time to let legislators know an affordable tuition is important to them, the more time students can spend focusing on the reason they came to Temple in the first place – their educations.