Budget Information Center

As a state-related institution without a large endowment (approximately $800 million), Temple’s operating budget—which finances the day-to-day, ongoing operations of the university—is almost entirely driven by tuition revenue. Examples of what is financed by the operating budget include departments, schools and colleges; student resources and services; libraries; campus operations; development; administration; and more. Compensation and benefits make up approximately 65% to 70% of the overall operating budget. 

    Allocation of Expense Budget

    University Budget & Planning

    The Budget Office is responsible for the planning, development, implementation and administration of Temple University's operating budget. This entails the preparation and submission of the annual operating budget for Board of Trustees' approval, annual allocation plans, and ensuring our financial resource decisions are aligned with the institution's defined strategic priorities and timeline. Additionally, the office is responsible for the preparation of the University's annual appropriation request to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    Commonwealth Support for Higher Education


    The appropriation helps to offset Temple’s education-related costs, so we can pass those savings on to Pennsylvania students in the form of lower tuition. The annual state appropriation supports Temple’s core educational mission and uses the state funds to pay for the necessary expenses to educate students, including salaries and benefits for faculty and staff, utilities, facilities and technology needs. Pennsylvania currently ranks 49th in appropriations for Higher Education where college in Pennsylvania costs 69.60% more than the national average cost of attendance at a public 4-year institution. The average private university costs 26.01% more, and local community colleges are 55.39% more expensive than they are nationwide (see Education Data report).


    Temple approaches the tuition-setting process from the outset each year with a goal of keeping any increases as low as possible. That goal is dependent on a variety of factors, including enrollment estimates for resident and nonresident students; state appropriation; cost-saving opportunities; cost increases committed to labor contracts, and employee benefits. For more on this topic check out this article about the state-related universities and their commitment to access and affordability.

    Budget Information

    Understanding our budget and the impact of enrollment

    The university knew that enrollment would decline due to demographic shifts and planned accordingly. However, a variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns related to safety around campus, led to fewer students committing to enroll than anticipated. The university had planned for a decrease of approximately 1,400 students this fall but the actual decrease is projected to be approximately 2,800 students. For this coming fiscal year, we are projecting a tuition shortfall of $21 million due to the increased decline in students across all levels and the change in the mix of undergraduate students (residency and school of major).

    Since the fall of 2017, total enrollment has declined 6,634 students, which includes an undergraduate decline of 5,383 students and a graduate and professional school decline of 1,251 students. The decrease in students is also reflective of the success of the university’s Fly in 4 Graduation Partnership, which works to ensure that students graduate in four years with as little debt as possible. The innovative program is one of the first of its kind in the United States, and it has been immensely successful. However, by the very nature of the program, its success will ultimately mean that there are less students on campus. 

    As Temple’s enrollment has decreased, the university has worked to trim its budget wherever possible. Since fiscal year 2021, Temple has reduced its budget by $122.6 million  - FY21 = $48.5M, FY22 = $33.0M and FY23 = $41.1M. The vast majority of these reductions were largely imposed on the administrative departments by eliminating vacant positions and non-bargaining salary reductions. At times, we have administered hiring freezes while also identifying opportunities to optimize organizational efficiencies. Significant layoffs have never been pursued. 

    What is Temple’s plan for balancing the budget?

    In September 2022, a hiring review process was implemented for all new and replacement administrative positions to curb/slow staff hiring. Additionally, over 190 administrative and staff vacancies were eliminated with a value of $15 million. Officers and deans agreed to decline a salary increase for FY2023.  

    We are in the planning process for a $40 million budget reduction across schools, colleges and administrative units. A faculty retirement incentive was introduced in the fall semester. And all schools, colleges and units continue to be mindful of their overall spending.

    Tuition has increased over the last two years, so why are there so many budgetary challenges now?

    While it is true that the university increased tuition for the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 academic years, these increases followed two years when the university held tuition flat. The COVID-19 pandemic was the primary driver behind keeping tuition flat during those years, as we recognized that this was a financially difficult time for students and families. However, the ramifications of holding tuition flat then are being felt now. 

    Why is the budget being cut while new infrastructure is being built?

    The majority of funds used for capital improvements, like new buildings, are state funds that are awarded and designated for that purpose. The university is not permitted to use the funds for another need.  

    New facilities play a key role in attracting and retaining students, which is especially important in today's competitive climate. Investments in the environment where our students live and learn supports our core mission. 

    Can cuts be made to athletics instead?

    Temple was built on a mission of access and our commitment to student athletes supports that mission. For many students, athletics serve as the door into higher education. Athletics also plays a key role in attracting and recruiting students, and reaching a broader regional and national audience. 

    Is Temple still trying to build a football stadium?

    No. This has not been considered for years and is not part of any current plan.

    Why is tuition in PA so high?

    In 2021, Pennsylvania ranked 49th in the country in public funding for higher education per full-time student, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association’s higher education finance report. Pennsylvania state funding is tied to enrollment and retention outcomes, which are on the decline. As a result, PA’s public institutions are some of the most expensive in the country. The average cost of attending a state institution for a Pennsylvania resident is $26,040, nearly 70 percent more than the national average, making it the third most expensive state for public higher education, according to a recent Education Data Initiative report. See also 7/12/23 Inside Higher Ed

    What happened to the FY2023 appropriation?

    After four months of deliberation, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed HB1461 on November 15, 2023, which provides Temple University with $158.2 million for fiscal year 2023-24.This is the fifth consecutive year in which Temple has received "flat funding" from the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth funding is matched by Temple and used to provide Pennsylvania students with a $14,400-a-year tuition discount. In addition to Temple, HB1461 also provided funding for Pennsylvania’s three other state-related universities: Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Lincoln University.