Education is coming at a high price for Temple students. In 2003, a report on graduating classes at public research universities in the nation showed that Temple was ranked second in the nation for the amount of debt students have when graduating.
Temple’s students are graduating with an average of more than $23,000 in debt due to Temple’s high tuition prices. Temple has one of the five highest public univeristy tuitions in the country, along with Pittsburgh, Penn State, New Hampshire, and Vermont, according to Deputy Provost Dr. Richard Englert.
There is an “enrollment increase and decrease in money,” Englert said. “As a result, tuition is high.”
To help ease this burden, on March 2, Provost Ira M. Schwartz traveled to Harrisburg to ask the State House Appropriations Committee to increase state funding for Temple.
Schwartz asked the Committee to increase state funding by $10.2 million for the 2005-06 school year. Gov. Ed Rendell has a proposed budget that would cut Temple’s funding by $2.25 million for next year.
Temple currently receives $170 million dollars from the state, which goes into the University’s overall budget, and is asking for $180 million from the state for the 2005-06 fiscal year.
Due to increased enrollment, state funding per full-time student has decreased from $7,713 in 2000 to $5,993 in 2005. This is a 20 percent reduction per student, which leads to a corresponding increase in tuition.
Schwartz told the Committee that Temple plans to use the state funds to achieve four goals: to continue to provide educational opportunities for the growing population of students; to strengthen Temple’s large professional programs; to build on Temple’s existing research base and to meet inflationary costs.
The money from the state will be part of the overall pool of dollars that the University has from tuition and other sources. The money will help with instructional programs and support for instructional programs, according to Englert.
According to Schwartz’s statement, Temple would like to increase the research programs, “especially in medical, bio-medical, pharmaceutical, and chemical areas.”
Schwartz said Temple would like to use state funds to help strengthen its professional programs. Temple’s programs in medicine, dentistry, podiatry, pharmacy and law enroll 3,100 students, which makes it the sixth largest professional school in the nation and the fourth largest among public universities, according to Schwartz’s statement.
Schwartz also told the Committee that many of these graduates stay in the state. “Without Temple’s large, high quality professional programs, Pennsylvania would face a significant shortage of practitioners in these critical fields,” Schwartz said.
Compared to other state schools in the country, Pennsylvania’s public college tuition is much higher.
“Tuition is high at Penn State, Pitt and Temple compared to other states. They tend to provide more support for public education,” Englert said of other state governments.
Temple will know for sure if they received the $10.2 million increase by the June 30 deadline in order to decide the budget.
“We hope everything is all finished in the next two months,” Englert said.
Chief Financial Officer Martin S. Dorph, Temple Student Government President Naeem Thompson, and sophomore Amber Ziminski, accompanied Schwartz to Harrisburg.
The representatives in Harrisburg wanted the students to speak about their view of the future of the university. They also wanted to hear about the “brain drain” that is affecting Pennsylvania.
“The legislators were very interested in Naeem and Amber’s thoughts about [the University] and appropriations,” said Englert of the two students who represented the student body.
“Temple has an extremely promising future as a university. Our standard, as far as academics, has been rising significantly,” said Ziminski, who was recommended to attend with Schwartz by the University Honors and Business Honors programs.
“The amount of credentials that our faculty has is growing. In addition, the fact that we are so community-oriented and determined to better the Philadelphia area makes us an important asset to our region,” Ziminski said.
Hannah Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.