By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – As budget hearings continue, leaders of three state-related universities told Pennsylvania lawmakers that more cuts to state funding will hurt lower-income students the most.

On top of 19-percent cuts last year, Governor Corbett has proposed 30-percent cuts in state funding for Temple, Pitt and Penn State. Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, Penn State President Rodney Erickson said typically, students at the university’s 19 branch campuses have lower family incomes and pay lower tuition than students at the main campus.

“These are the students that we’re going to lose as the costs inevitably increase regardless of what we do, and this appropriation goes down.”

Pitt’s chancellor told the committee the reductions in state funding are pushing the universities toward become private institutions. The chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Delaware County Republican Bill Adolph, said as they did last year, lawmakers will attempt to reduce at least some of the proposed cuts.

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