Where Does My Tuition Go?

Pie graph of break down of general funds by function type instruction academicsupport institsupport physical plant Image HTML map generator

Tuition is the primary income source for the university’s general funds budget. The general funds budget, representing approximately one-half of Penn State's total operating budget, covers the core of the University's teaching, research, and service efforts. General funds also encompass academic and administrative support and maintenance of the physical plant. Income to support the general funds budget comes from: tuition and fees paid by the student; state appropriations; and other income including facilities administration, investment income, and sales and services of departments.

Includes all activities that are part of the instruction program. This category excludes expenditures for academic administration when the primary assignment is administration.

Includes all activities specifically organized to produce research outcomes, whether commissioned by an agency external to the institution or separately budgeted by an organizational unit within the institution.

Public Service
Includes funds expended for credit and non-credit distance education courses; non-instructional services beneficial to individuals and groups external to the institution such as community service programs, cooperative extension services, conferences, institutes, references bureaus, radio and television, consulting, and similar non-instructional services to particular sectors of the community.

Institutional Support

Institutional Support includes:

  • central executive - level activities concerned with management and long-range planning of the entire institution
  • fiscal operations
  • personnel administration
  • logistical activities that provide procurement, storerooms, safety, and security
  • support services to faculty and staff that are not operated as auxiliary enterprises
  • activities concerned with community and alumni relations including development and fund-raising

Academic Support
Provides support to the institution’s primary missions - instruction, research and public service – and includes:

  • academic administration (including academic deans but not department chairmen) and personnel development providing administrative support and management direction to the three primary missions
  • the retention, preservation and display of educational materials - for example, libraries, museums, and galleries
  • media, such as audio visual services and technology such as computation services
  • separately budgeted support for course and curriculum development

Student Services
Includes offices of admissions and registrar and those activities whose primary purpose is to contribute to the student’s emotional and physical well-being and to his intellectual, cultural, and social development outside the context of the formal instruction program.

Student Aid
Includes scholarships and fellowships in the form of out-right grants to students selected by the institution and financed from current funds, restricted or unrestricted.

Physical Plant Operations
Includes the operation and maintenance of the physical plant relating to grounds and facilities. Also included are fuel, utilities, fire protection, property insurance, and similar items.

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