LEMONT FURNACE – Penn State’s Board of Trustees will vote Friday on proposed tuition increases across its campuses that in the aggregate represent an increase of 2.76 percent for the 2013-14 academic year. Approval of this tuition rate will fulfill a commitment to Gov. Tom Corbett and Pennsylvania legislators to keep tuition rates as low as possible in exchange for no reduction in state appropriations.
This year’s increase, if approved, will be the second lowest percentage increase at the University since 1967. For the new budget year the state’s general support appropriation, which chiefly offsets the cost of tuition for Pennsylvania resident students, is just below the total received in 1995, when the University educated 20,000 fewer students.
“Before considering an increase to tuition and fees, we identified expense reductions of $35.9 million and delayed planned budget increases for the capital improvement plan and deferred maintenance. The unavoidable cost increases that could not be funded by internal budget reductions and reallocations are what constitute this increase,” President Rodney Erickson said. “We remain committed to keeping Penn State’s tuition increase at its lowest possible rate without sacrificing the quality of our academic programs.”
The proposed aggregate rate represents four levels of possible increases across Penn State’s 19 undergraduate campuses. Tuition for Pennsylvania resident and nonresident undergraduate students will increase less than 2 percent at 15 of Penn State’s campuses, under the recommendation to trustees. Another four campuses — Altoona, Berks, Erie and Harrisburg — could see an increase of 2.45 percent, or $160 per semester for Pennsylvania residents.
At Penn State Abington, Brandywine, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Worthington Scranton and York, tuition is proposed to increase 1.85 percent, or $116 per semester for Pennsylvania resident students. Students at Penn State Mont Alto and Wilkes-Barre, and the western Pennsylvania campuses of Penn State Beaver, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny and New Kensington have an increase of 0.75 percent, or $47 per semester, for resident students slated.
Tuition costs for students at Penn State Shenango are expected to remain the same.
“We continue to acknowledge the impact of adverse demographics of high school-age students particularly in western Pennsylvania, while recognizing that adult students in Pennsylvania may find Penn State of interest to them as they consider changing careers or furthering their education,” Erickson said. “With this in mind, we would like to offer lower rate increases at those campuses, and no increase at Penn State Shenango, to make access to a Penn State education available to as many prospective and current students in those regions as possible.”
Erickson also said intense competition in the western part of the state among higher education institutions also played a role in the tuition differential that is being sought.
For lower division Pennsylvania residents attending the University Park campus, the tuition increase is expected to be 3.39 percent, or $264 per semester, and for nonresident students the increase proposed is 2.87 percent, or $400 per semester.
At all campuses, the information technology fee is expected to increase $4 a semester, to $248. Among all campuses under the proposal, the student activities fee and student facilities fee will most commonly rise by $2 to $87 per semester, and by $4, to $116 per semester, respectively.
A complete listing of Penn State’s tuition rate schedules and fees can be found at http://www.tuition.psu.edu.