Harrisburg –The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) today approved a $194 tuition increase for the 2013-14 academic year – $97 per semester – virtually ensuring PASSHE will remain the lowest-cost option among all four-year colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.
The 3 percent increase also means the total cost of attendance at a PASSHE university – including tuition, fees, room and board – likely will remain below the national average among all public colleges and universities in the United States, and significantly below the average in the Middle States region, which comprises Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
“It is very important to our students and their families that we keep our tuition affordable,” said Board of Governors Chairman Guido M. Pichini. “With this action today, PASSHE universities will continue to provide outstanding value, combining high-quality educational opportunities with the most affordable cost available.”
The new annual tuition rate for full-time, resident undergraduate students attending any of the 14 PASSHE universities beginning this fall will be $3,311 per semester, or $6,622 for the full academic year. Nearly 90 percent of PASSHE students are Pennsylvania residents and about 85 percent attend full time.
PASSHE will receive $412.8 million in state funding this year, the same amount it received in 2012-13. That will cover about one-fourth of the operating costs of the 14 PASSHE universities.
Those costs are expected to increase in several areas, including salaries, pension contributions, healthcare and utilities. Some of those increases will be offset by the impact of a voluntary retirement incentive program offered to PASSHE faculty and coaches earlier this year.
Other cost-reduction efforts implemented over the last 10 years have resulted in overall budget reductions of approximately $285 million. Those reductions have helped keep annual tuition increases at or below the rate of inflation in most years since the cost-cutting efforts began.
While keeping costs under control, the universities have continued to enhance the quality of programming they offer, with the vast majority of academic programs earning or maintaining accreditation from professional organizations nationally. The universities also are offering more advanced, professional degrees in response to growing workforce demand in areas including healthcare and science-related fields.
“PASSHE is continuing to serve the needs of students and the Commonwealth and its employers,” said acting Chancellor Dr. Peter H. Garland. “They are doing so in a cost-efficient manner.”
The Board also approved new tuition rates for resident graduate students and all nonresident students at its meeting today. The resident graduate tuition rate in 2013-14 will be $442 per credit, an increase of $13. Nonresident graduate tuition will increase by $19 per credit to $663. Full-time, undergraduate tuition for nonresident students will range from $9,934 to $16,556, depending on a variety of factors, including the university and program in which a student enrolls. All of the increases average approximately 3 percent.
The tuition technology fee will increase by $5 to $184 per semester – $368 for the full academic year – for full-time resident undergraduate students and by $8 to $279 a semester – or $558 a year – for full-time nonresident undergraduate students. All funds raised by the technology fee are used to directly benefit student learning. Universities have used the funds to install new computer labs and to design multi-media classrooms, among other projects.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Multi University Center in Philadelphia.