Tuition going up at state universities; increase matches inflation rate

Tuition hike at state universities matches inflation rate

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Students and their families will pay 3% more in tuition at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities next school year.

The board of governors of the State System of Higher Education approved the $188 tuition increase -- $94 per semester -- Monday afternoon, ensuring PASSHE will remain the lowest-cost option among all four-year colleges and universities in the state, officials said.

"This action demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our students and their families, and to the Commonwealth," said Guido Pichini, chairman of the PASSHE Board of Governors. "PASSHE universities will continue to offer high-quality education at the most affordable cost possible."

The board postponed an expected vote last month pending last week's legislative approval of the state budget that keeps state funding for the universities level.

The budget will provide PASSHE with nearly $420 million, the same amount it received in last year's budget, which cut state funding for higher education by nearly 20%.

"We are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Corbett for their support in the recently passed state budget, which enabled us to make this decision," said Pichini, president and CEO of Wyomissing-based Security Guards Inc. "To consistently keep tuition increases to a minimum, as PASSHE has, requires both state support as well as tremendous efforts on behalf of the universities to control their costs through what have been extremely challenging fiscal times."

The board also approved new tuition rates for resident graduate students and all nonresident students.

The resident graduate tuition rate in 2012-13 will be $429 per credit, an increase of $13. Nonresident graduate tuition will increase by $20 per credit to $644.

Full-time, undergraduate tuition for nonresident students will range from $9,642 to $16,070, depending on a variety of factors, including the university and program in which a student enrolls.

All of the increases average approximately 3%.

Nearly 120,000 students are enrolled in the state universities at Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

Penn State University's president, Rodney Erickson, has said he will ask the university's trustees this month to increase tuition for Pennsylvania residents by 2.9% at the main campus in State College and 1.9% at the commonwealth campuses, including those in Berks and Lehigh counties.

It would be the lowest tuition increase for Penn State in about 35 years, Erickson said.

A report last month by the U.S. Department of Education ranked Penn State as having the highest in-state tuition of any four-year public university during the 2010-11 school year.

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