Penn State is wrapping up a successful fundraising campaign that surpassed $2 billion in seven years.
More than $500 million of that total will support scholarships to help young people who might not otherwise be able to afford to attend Penn State. Some 16,000 students assisted by the campaign were the first in their families to attend college, university officials said.
The remaining For the Future donations will go to endowments, such as those supporting faculty positions, research projects and upgrades at Penn State’s commonwealth campuses.
Campaign Chairman Peter Tombros said donors “were there for our students.” President Rodney Erickson and his wife, Shari, gave $1 million.
The For the Future campaign will officially close June 30.
By then, Penn State should know how much money it will get from the state, and be close to setting its 2014-15 budget — and tuition levels.
Given the widespread support for this student-centered fundraising effort, this seems like the perfect time for Penn State to do more itself to help those eager to attend the university.
The cost of an education at Penn State is out of control, putting the school among the most expensive public institutions in the country. Base in-state tuition has jumped 40 percent since 2006-07, university records show. Graduates are leaving Penn State and other schools with enormous levels of debt.
We salute the highly successful For the Future campaign and the initiatives it supports.
Reducing tuition and other standard costs would be another great way to show the young people of Pennsylvania and beyond that Penn State is the best place for them to get a great education.