At state budget hearing, Phillips-Hill dials in on higher education’s return on investment

HARRISBURG –Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) questioned the chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education about student debt and return on investment at Thursday’s Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearing.

“York County business owners tell me they need employees with the skills to fill job vacancies throughout the county and the Commonwealth,” Phillips-Hill asked, noting her daughter is a graduate of the West Chester University, a member of the 14 state-owned university system. “We have colleges and universities offering degrees that don’t have a promising job outlook after graduation. Are we graduating the next workforce of tomorrow or are we saddling graduates with very expensive diplomas and limited ways to pay for them?”

Phillips- Hill noted the success of York College in offering programs like nursing and cybersecurity that provide numerous career opportunities for graduates.

“York College is doing some interesting things to adapt and change to the demands of students and employers,” Phillips-Hill said. “York College is graduating students with degrees that lead to jobs that can pay off those diplomas and then some. They offer a solid return on investment for their students.”

PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein indicated that the system is using data to track and adapt their programs and course offerings based on the demands of the workforce in Pennsylvania.

Phillips-Hill said she’s encouraged by the analytics and offered to work with the chancellor on removing any bureaucratic red tape that may be holding the 14 state-owned universities back from adapting to the challenges and workforce demands and requests of the next generation.

You can watch the discussion over return on investment and workforce development efforts between Senator Phillips-Hill and PASSHE Chancellor Greenstein here. You can listen to Senator Phillips-Hill’s question here.

The Senate Appropriations Committee continues its public hearings on that state budget on Monday, February 25 at 10 a.m. The hearings are available at and at

Senator Phillips-Hill asks Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Greenstein about student return on investment for their education at the 14 state-owned universities.