Treasurer McCord Commends President for Focus on Higher Education

Cuts to schools’ funding have burdened Pennsylvania students

Harrisburg – State Treasurer Rob McCord welcomes the attention President Barack Obama is bringing today to the importance of higher education and his efforts to make it more affordable. On a visit to Scranton this afternoon, the president intends to speak about rising higher education costs and his plans to combat them.

“This is an important issue, particularly for Pennsylvania students who face higher tuition because of the Corbett Administration’s significant cuts to state-owned and state-related schools,” McCord said. “Pennsylvania’s graduates are shouldering the burden of these cuts. Our graduates carry the second highest level of student debt of any state in the nation.

“Investments in higher education – both on the part of the state and students – are investments in our future that will yield returns for decades to come in the form of more jobs, higher earnings, and a better educated workforce.

“We need to boost, not cut, funding for public universities, and at the same time work with them better to control costs and help them operate more efficiently,” McCord added.

McCord, who is in charge of the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings program, has been a leader in helping families to afford college. Thanks to Treasury’s successful outreach over the past four years, a record number of families are saving for college through the tax-advantaged PA 529 program with 177,491open accounts.

Just last week, McCord announced that he was lowering fees on the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) by as much as 30 percent, due to the strong investment performance of the GSP fund. When McCord took office at the beginning of 2009, the GSP stood at only a 70 percent actuarial funding level. It has now improved to more than 100 percent and is fully funded.

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Media contact:
Gary Tuma