Gov. Wolf proposes $7.7 million increase in Pitt funding


AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address for the 2022-23 fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

By Martha Layne and Rebecca Johnson

Pitt could receive an additional $7.7 million next year, based on the spending plan outlined in Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2022-23 state budget.

Wolf’s proposed budget includes a 5% funding increase for most public higher education institutions in Pennsylvania, including Pitt, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University and Lincoln University. It calls for about $12 million more to Penn State, $7.9 million to Temple and $758,000 to Lincoln.

It would be the first funding increase for Pitt since 2019, when it received a 2% hike, bringing the annual amount up to around $151 million. Pitt has received around that same amount in the years since.

The budget request is Wolf’s last before the term-limited Democrat leaves office next year. In all, the budget includes a $125 million spending hike for higher education institutions across the commonwealth.

Pitt spokesperson David Seldin said the University is grateful for Wolf’s support and plans to use the funds to continue helping students at Pitt.

“The University of Pittsburgh appreciates Gov. Tom Wolf’s strong and consistent support for increasing the state’s investment in Pennsylvania’s students and families,” Seldin said. “This budget proposal is consistent with the Commonwealth’s longstanding commitment to helping generations of Pennsylvanians access and afford a world-class education at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Seldin added that the University’s budget request to the state government, prepared as part of the annual budget process, is not yet completed.

Wolf’s spending plan submitted to the General Assembly also includes historic funding increases for state-owned universities. It proposes a 15% increase, equivalent to about $75 million, to go to these 14 institutions, which are currently grappling with controversial campus mergers. These increases are the largest in at least 25 years.  

Wolf’s proposal also supports the Nellie Bly Tuition Program — a fund to support students attending state-owned universities or community colleges — as well as one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to enhance student success, freeze tuition and increase student financial aid.