Classes resume at 14 Pennsylvania-owned universities

 

Pennsylvania students who attend one of the 14 state-owned universities won't see higher tuition next year, the first such freeze in more than 20 years.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's board on Wednesday voted unanimously to keep in-state tuition flat at about $7,700. Most of the system's students are from Pennsylvania.

"Students and parents of students are looking for us to lead, and on their behalf, we've made the right choice," said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. "Our mission is clear. These universities exist so that Pennsylvanians across all income levels can access quality higher education, and by holding the line on tuition, we are living up to that mission."

The system's last tuition freeze was for the 1998-99 school year, when the cost for in-state students was less than half what it is today.

The universities have seen total enrollment fall over the past eight years from about 112,000 to just over 90,000.

"We need to be bold, and we need to keep students at the center of everything we do, so I want to thank the Board for leading the way on tuition," said Dan Greenstein, the system's chancellor. "They took a look at how tuition for more than 20 years has steadily risen, and they said, 'Enough.'

The state government's support for the system is rising by about 2 percent this year, to $477 million.

The system's 14 schools include East Stroudsburg University in Monroe County, Kutztown University in Berks County, Millersville University in Lancaster County, and West Chester University in Chester County.