The story focuses on Indiana University of Pennsylvania, but it applies to the whole system (and other schools like it nationwide).
Summarized in these paragraphs:
The pandemic is only the latest assault after more than a decade of financial hits on these schools.
Resources got gobbled a decade ago when millions were spent on fancy amenities, like new dorms and conference halls; then enrollment abruptly fell nationwide as demographics shifted, cutting income. But the chief blow came as states slashed support for higher education.
After years of Republican-led pressure to reduce state spending, Pennsylvania gives nearly 34 percent less support per pupil now than it did in 2008, forcing students to pay a growing amount of tuition. This has further discouraged enrollment, causing a downward financial spiral, experts say. Now the pandemic has jolted the system.