Tuition to go up 3 percent at Pa. state universities

Posted: July 10, 2014

The board governing Pennsylvania's 14 state universities on Tuesday approved a 3 percent tuition increase for 2014-15.

Under the plan approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's board of governors at its meeting in Harrisburg, full-time in-state students this fall will pay a base tuition of $6,820 a year, a $198 increase from the $6,622 they paid last year.

Overall, tuition, fees, and room and board for an in-state student will be $18,500 for 2014-15, up from about $18,000 this year. The vast majority of students live in Pennsylvania.

The tuition increase comes as the board of governors looks to close a $58 million budget hole in its $1.56 billion budget.

The university system had asked the state for a 4 percent increase in its basic aid and $18 million for new program development, but the state budget holds funding flat for most higher education institutions. The system will get the same $412.7 million that it has received since 2011-12 - that's $90 million less than it received in 2010-11.

In addition to the tuition increase, universities will have to find a combined $30 million in cuts to balance the system's budget, the board said. It will be up to the universities to decide where to cut.

State system spokesman Kenn Marshall said presidents have indicated they will look at staff reductions and fewer sections of courses, as well as putting on hold equipment purchases and maintenance.

"It's going to be different from one university to the next," he said. "I'm sure some of the decisions will be very difficult."

The 14 state system schools are: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester.

Pennsylvania State University, which also is in line to receive no state funding increase, is scheduled to vote on tuition rates later this week. Temple University plans to vote next week.

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