Council of Trustees Handbook 717-783-1540 Higher Education: Primer March 25, 2022 - Page 14 While support increased in the years leading up to the Great Recession, significant cuts were made during and immediately after the Great Recession, most notably in 2011/12. Overall expenditures remained essentially flat from 2012/13 through 2015/16. In 2015/16, though institutions saw increased appropriations ranging from 3-5 percent, PHEAA’s appropriation declined. The impact of that reduced appropriation was offset, in part, by a greater reliance on business earnings. The COVID-19 pandemic caused another recession, and the effect of this latest economic downturn on Pennsylvania’s higher education has not yet fully manifested. The General Assembly provided flat funding for state appropriations for the 2020/21 fiscal year, plus an additional $72.2 million in CARES Act federal funds for COVID-19 response. Avoiding cuts to state appropriations, plus other direct federal support helped stabilize the impact of the pandemic on the commonwealth’s universities. For 2021/22, state appropriations were again level funded, except for an increase for community colleges to support the addition of Erie County Community College. While this analysis excludes capital support, community college capital also increased. The General Assembly again elected to use a portion of flexible federal funds to support higher education, allocating $50 million from the American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Fund to PASSHE. The net reduction in total funds is attributable to the changing use of federal recovery funds.