Auditor faults Penn State's tuition hikes, admissions record

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Penn State needs to address what's described as skyrocketing tuition and spiking enrollment of out-of-state students and international students, compared to in-state student enrollment, according to a new report.

Pennsylvania's Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that tuition has jumped by more than 500 percent over the past three decades, driven in part by an ambitious building boom and falling state government subsidies.

“By comparison, over the past three decades, the price of a gallon of milk increased 48 percent and a new car increased in cost 163 percent," DePasquale said. "In fact, not even the rising cost of health care could keep pace with Penn State's tuition growth."       

The study also said background clearances are missing for some of the adults who work at youth camps on campus.

"In the post-[Jerry] Sandusky era, it would be expected that Penn State would be hypervigilant about completing all required background checks. Apparently that is not the case," DePasquale said. "As we so tragically learned from Sandusky, it takes only one child predator to cause what could be lifetime trauma to a child."

DePasquale said Penn State's 36-member board of trustees is too large, and is urging lawmakers to fully apply Pennsylvania's open-records law to the university.

Penn State said it's working to reduce costs and find new revenues. The university said there's no bias against in-state students.

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