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Pennsylvania’s system of higher education has embarked on a multiyear restructuring that included consolidating six institutions, and state officials are rewarding it with their the largest budget increase in history.

Late last week, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state budget for fiscal year 2023, which increases the university system’s budget to $552.5 million, a $75 million increase from the $477.5 million received in 2021-2022. Among other things, the funding will allow the system’s universities to freeze tuition for the fourth year in a row.

The budget legislation also provides $125 million in one-time funds from the federal government’s America’s Rescue Plan to support PASSHE’s multi-year effort to reshape its 14 campuses into a more integrated statewide system.

“This unprecedented additional funding demonstrates that the public system’s universities have delivered on their promises to the state with a design change that produces positive outcomes for our community and more opportunities for our students,” said Cynthia Shapiro, chair of the system’s Board of Governors. “Rebuilding the strength of our partnership with state leaders and all Pennsylvanians is the result of deliberate, intentional and hard-earned efforts by our faculty, staff and students.”

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