Penn State’s Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning voted Thursday to recommend a 2.74 percent — or $232 — tuition increase for in-state students at University Park for the 2017-2018 school year. Tuition rate increases will account for a $44.4 million increase in the university’s operating budget.
In-state tuition rates will increase by 2.49 percent ($173) at the Altoona, Berks, Erie, and Harrisburg campuses, 2.49 percent ($164) at the Abington campus, and 2.35 percent ($155) at the Brandywine, Hazelton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Scranton, York, and World campuses.
In-state tuition rates will not increase for students studying at the Beaver, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Wilkes-Barre, or Shenango campuses.
After a tuition freeze for the 2015-2016 school year, this is the second year the Board has approved a tuition increase — despite recent criticism of high tuition levels from Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in his report on a performance audit of the university.
However, it’s worth noting that the audit report did not discuss the correlating state appropriation levels granted by state legislature for Penn State over the years. When benchmarking Penn State’s tuition levels with other similar institutions, the committee emphasized these institutions receive much more support from their respective state legislatures.
Pennsylvania has not yet passed this year’s state appropriation budget, but Penn State requested a $25.3 million increase in state appropriations for the 2017-2018 school year. A current proposal keeps state appropriations level from last year at $230,436 million for Penn State’s general fund. Some differentiated appropriations, like that designated for The Pennsylvania College of Technology, are slated to receive small increases if the bill is passed as is.