It’s that time of year. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I want to express my dearest thanks to all of you. You — the readers — are why we do this. It’s a privilege to be able to communicate with you each day. I’m grateful for that. We’ll be back in your inbox next week, after the holiday.

In today’s newsletter, we look at why Penn State is one of the priciest public schools in the country. We also offer some tips on saving money if you go shopping after Thanksgiving. And in national politics, we look at what could be coming in the impeachment inquiry next month.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Penn State and Pa.'s public colleges are among the nation’s costliest — and surprisingly empty

After years of under-investment, Pennsylvania’s tax-supported four-year colleges aren’t doing so well. A combination of high costs and fewer Pennsylvania students are leaving dorm rooms empty.

Pennsylvania’s higher-education support is among the weakest in the United States. Comparing 2008 to 2016, the Keystone State had the biggest decline in higher-education support per $1,000 of personal income. And that has contributed to rising tuition costs that put Penn State’s main campus in State College as the most expensive public school in the Big Ten.

Black Friday shopping tips to avoid ripoffs and scams

If you’re savvy, you can save big on Black Friday. A consumer analyst shared some tips with The Inquirer to make sure you don’t get tripped up by scams such as purchase minimums to earn free shipping and misleading discounts.

Saturday is dedicated to shopping at small businesses. A number of Philadelphia stores are participating, allowing you to support local businesses and score deals. We’ve got some sales for you to look for as you start to think about holiday gifts.

Philadelphia leaders push for safer youth placements

Earlier this year, an Inquirer investigation detailed decades of violent abuse and cover-ups at the Glen Mills Schools in Delaware County, where Philadelphia judges sent thousands of local boys. These programs have been dubbed “kid jails” by some critics. They house juveniles who have committed crimes and whom judges say should be placed outside of their homes, often after petty violations.

Then, Gov. Tom Wolf announced a sweeping overhaul of state oversight of residential programs and treatment centers. And yesterday, a group of local leaders said residential programs that serve Philadelphia’s children should be required to commit to reducing or eliminating use of physical restraints, along with other changes.

What you need to know today

  • If you’re traveling for the holiday, you should be fine weather-wise to get out of town today or tomorrow. (Traffic is a different story.) But if you’re planning on coming back this weekend, some cold and wet conditions may await you.

  • A city report released yesterday encouraged the now-shuttered-and-bankrupt oil refinery in South Philly to be reused as something “cleaner” and “safer for Philadelphians.” But the report also acknowledges that the 1,300-acre complex will likely continue as a petroleum processing facility for the near future.

  • When lawmakers return to Washington after Thanksgiving, the Trump impeachment push will enter a month-long sprint. Democrats are aiming for a House vote by Christmas that could move the issue to the Senate, which has a Republican majority.

  • Sheriff-elect Rochelle Bilal knows there’s a “dark cloud” over the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. Yesterday, she promised to remove it as she presented her goals for her four-year term.

  • What can cities do if they think the 2020 Census is wrong?

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I’m so thankful for this city. Awesome shot, @aleit90!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting


“If our adults are feeling this way, how must our students be feeling? For us, it’s a job. For them, it’s their lives. And we are failing them.” — Brian Gallagher writes about why he had to quit his job as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | 10,000 pies

MANNA, formally known as Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance, prepares and delivers free meals to people with life-threatening illnesses like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and heart disease. Thanksgiving is the nonprofit’s biggest day. It delivers turkey dinners to clients across the region. Here’s how it gets done.