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about 3 weeks ago

Board of Trustees Committee Recommends 2.73 Percent Tuition Increase

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A Board of Trustees committee unanimously recommended an aggregate 2.73 percent tuition increase, including a 2.99 percent raise for in-state University Park students, at its meeting in Penn State Schuylkill today.

Proposed during the Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning meeting, the increase means students will pay $450 $209 more per semester. Overall, it’s a decrease from last year’s 3.39 percent spike. The information technology fee will increase $4, to $252, while the student activity fee will increase $6 to $93 and the student facilities fee will increase $4 to $120. All told, the aggregate tuition increase is 2.73 percent, a slight decrease from last year’s 2.76 percent and the second-lowest percentage increase since 1967.

Some groups of students will see different tuition spikes: Resident upperclassmen studying business and science, earth and mineral sciences, engineering, and information sciences and technology, or STEM fields, will see an increase of 5.16 percent ($475); non-resident upperclassmen in those fields will see a 4.27 percent hike ($668).

Old Main often points to waning state appropriations as a reason for the constantly rising tuition costs. Appropriations have remained level for the past four years at $214.1 million, and tuition has increased every year during that time.

“We appreciate the Commonwealth’s support during a challenging fiscal climate in Pennsylvania. Again this year, we have made a concerted effort to avoid unnecessary expenditures and minimize increases without sacrificing quality,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “It is our hope that because Penn State is educating and preparing our brightest students for success through our role as Pennsylvania’s land-grant institution, our state government will continue to recognize and promote the shared value of our partnership.”

This was the first committee meeting attended by President Eric Barron in his official capacity. He questioned the impact the recession had on university tuition after the 2.99 percent proposal, suggesting that the board should review the recession’s effect on both rising tuition costs and state appropriations.

2012-13 tuition statistics released earlier this year showed that Penn State was the second-most expensive American public university, behind only Pitt.

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