Penn State tuition increase is lowest in recent history

PHILADELPHIA – Due to a higher-than-expected state appropriation and continued cost-cutting measures, Penn State will raise its 2006-07 tuition rate by 2.9 percent for both resident and non-resident students at its 19 primarily undergraduate campuses — an effort to promote access to a Penn State education around the commonwealth where nearly half of the University’s students are enrolled.

The rate increase will be 5.6 percent for in-state, lower division undergraduate students at the University Park campus.

“This year, we will see the smallest increase in tuition that we have had in recent history,” said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier.

This new rate translates into an additional $143 to $149 per semester for full-time students at statewide campus locations, and $311 for students at University Park.

The benchmark tuition for out-of-state, lower division undergraduate students will increase by 4.4 percent. This rate is based on a formula approved by the board in 2002 that sets the dollar-figure tuition increase for out-of-state students at 1.5 times the increase for in-state students, reflecting more appropriately the increases in the actual costs of instruction.

The University’s Board of Trustees approved the new rate schedule at its regular meeting July 14 in Philadelphia.

“I pledged to legislative leaders this spring that Penn State would apply 100 percent of any educational and general appropriation increase over the governor’s budget proposal to reducing the planned tuition increase,” said Spanier. “This rate schedule fully honors that pledge.”

The approved increases for 2006-07 bring the yearly tuition cost for continuing lower division students from Pennsylvania attending the University Park campus to $11,646.

The same category of students attending the Altoona, Berks, Erie and Harrisburg campuses will pay $10,446 in tuition, while those students attending all other Penn State undergraduate campuses will pay $10,008 in tuition annually.

To meet the demand for information technology services, the mandatory information technology fee will be increased $12 per semester for all full-time students, to $202 per semester. The student activity fee also will be raised by $5 per semester at all locations, where the total rate per semester varies. The funds collected from this fee are made available to students through allocations by each campus’ student activities fee committee.

A complete listing of Penn State’s tuition rate schedules and fees may be accessed at online.

Tuition supports one-third of Penn State’s proposed $3.2 billion budget in 2006-07. Budget increases include funds for escalating health care and other insurance and benefits costs, rapidly increasing fuel and utilities costs, facilities needs, provisions for modest faculty and staff salary increases, need-based student aid support and strategic academic program investments.

Last November, the Board of Trustees approved an average room and board cost of $6,850 for 2006-07 — an increase of 4.9 percent or $320 per year for standard housing and the most common meal plan. This increase covers the normal changes in annual operating expenses as well as the cost of life safety initiatives and the expense of renovations and upgrades to existing facilities.

In sum, the combined increases in tuition, fees and room and board will cost the average in-state, lower division undergraduate student at University Park approximately 5.4 percent more for 2006-07 than was paid in the past year.

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