Tuesday is here. And it's the 247th birthday of the U.S. Postal Service (thanks, Ben Franklin!), so maybe ask your mail carrier how they're celebrating.

🚨 Situational awareness: Police, firefighters and military personnel will be practicing how to respond to emergency scenarios tomorrow and Thursday.

  • Find more information, including the list of drill locations, on the city's website.

Today's newsletter is 915 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Inflation leads universities to hike tuition

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A period of pandemic tuition freezes has mostly thawed at Pennsylvania universities.

What's happening: Temple and Penn State, two of Pennsylvania’s partially private colleges, both recently announced tuition hikes for the upcoming school year, joining a choir of universities blaming inflation as one of the main drivers of rising education costs.

Why it matters: It's making the already exorbitant cost of higher education even more expensive.

Driving the news: Penn State announced last week that it's raising undergraduate tuition by 5% at its University Park campus and 2% at the Commonwealth campuses.

  • Penn State had also bumped undergraduate tuition for this past academic year after three consecutive years of price freezes.

Temple University's Board of Trustees voted this month to increase tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students by 3.9% for the 2022-23 school year.

  • It follows a hike last year after the university froze tuition in 2020.

Context: These announcements come after several private schools, such as the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova, announced tuition increases in the spring for the upcoming academic year

The big picture: College enrollment has been declining across America for nearly a decade, but the pandemic is accelerating the trend, Axios' Erin Doherty writes. And rising costs and student loan interest rates could turn more students away, CNBC reports.

Percentage change in undergraduate enrollment
Data: National Student Clearinghouse; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

State of play: Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education has frozen tuition at its state universities for the fourth straight year after the system received a significant boost in state funding, the Inquirer reports.

  • But Pennsylvania’s four partially private colleges —Temple, Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University (the two latter of which are also raising tuition this fall) — didn't get increases in state appropriations this year.

Between the lines: State House Republicans had attempted to block state appropriations altogether for the four universities, specifically Pitt, during recent budget negotiations in an effort to ban research that uses "fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion."

  • Lawmakers ultimately removed the proposed ban from the funding plan, adding it instead to broadband legislation which has since stalled.

What's next: Gov. Tom Wolf plans to send a one-time boost of $40 million in federal pandemic funding to be split between Penn State, Temple, Pitt and Lincoln University, Spotlight PA reports.

What they're saying: Penn State trustee Brandon Short said during a meeting Friday, "I understand that people are struggling to make ends meet … and I feel their pain because we all feel it, but if we continue to cut, it will have a negative effect on the quality of a Penn State education," according to Trib Live.

2. Where the Columbus debate stands

The Columbus statue in South Philly gets boxed up in June 2020. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

Our Axios Local friends in Columbus wrote yesterday about how a statue of their city's namesake might get reinstalled, which got us thinking: What the heck is going on with South Philly's Columbus battle?

The latest: Two separate legal fights are ongoing, though both have had little in the way of impactful news so far in 2022. (Billy Penn has a great timeline to get you current through the end of last year.)

  • The bigger one deals with whether Philly has the right to relocate the statue from Marconi Plaza and whether it went through the appropriate channels to do so in the first place. A three-judge Commonwealth Court panel heard arguments last month but hasn't yet issued a ruling, per Law.com.
  • The smaller one concerns whether the city can maintain the plywood box that it put up around the statue in June 2020. The Commonwealth Court issued an emergency stay last October that allowed it to remain, but the state Supreme Court still hasn't issued an ultimate decision.

The bottom line: The situation hasn't really changed in two years — the statue still stands, with a box over it — despite the court battles.

3. News Market

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏳️‍⚧️ Philadelphia schools, day cares and other organizations that serve kids could face penalties for failing to accommodate transgender youth under a change to city code enacted this month. (Inquirer)

Philly health officials reported two heat-related deaths during the city's heat health emergency over the weekend. (Fox 29)

🅿️ Pennsylvania's Transportation Department rolled out new online services for people with disabilities, including the option to renew, request or replace Person with Disabilities Parking Placards from home. (WGAL)

🥩 Remember the Stephen Starr-Aramark collab at the Wells Fargo Center we told you about? The new American-style restaurant will be called Adrian and serve items including steak, French onion soup and crab cakes. Check out the renderings, via Philadelphia Business Journal.

4. Chicken worth giving a cluck

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Fast food chains across America are going all in on chicken nuggets, hoping to lure millennials and Gen Z'ers who favor an on-the-go style, Axios' Jennifer Kingson reports.

State of play: Forget the corporate poultry. Given that we live in a city known the world over for its artery-clogging treats, there's no better time for us to give a shoutout to our favorite local boneless chicken products.

  • Shane: As a recovering picky eater, I know chicken tenders. There are none better than those at The Abbaye in Northern Liberties. Get them just once with wing sauce on the side, and you'll be stuck craving them every single week just like me.
  • Alexa: Don't sleep on the crispy goodness that is baology's Taiwanese fried chicken "nuggs." Like Shane, I'm partial to a good sauce — and the fast-casual spot's chili-garlic sauce and lemon aioli are perfect for dunking.

🐔 We'd love to know what you think! Hit reply to this email and tell us where you satisfy your fried fixations.

New jobs to check out

🌳 Branch out with our Job Board.

  1. National Development Director at 314 Action.
  2. Director, Tax at OneOncology.
  3. Sr. Customer Success Manager at Forrester.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a Job.

🧇 Alexa is staying up late, reading stories about Shrek raves. And in the morning? She's making waffles.

🎟️ Shane is hoping the odds are ever in your favor for the Bruce Springsteen ticket Hunger Games.