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PSU More Expensive, Natch, But How Much?

Penn State students have followed with varying degrees of interest this summer’s budget battles: one between the Democrats and Republicans within Pennsylvania’s state government and another between Governor Ed Rendell and Graham Spanier. The former was over the state’s budget and the latter an argument about the very identity of Penn State: are we public or private?

We don’t have a good answer for you– we’re not even sure what we are– but over the past few months many students and parents were unaware of this tussle. Now, however, they are seeing its effects first hand as bills begin to call for attention. Penn State will be more expensive next year (and it’s already pretty expensive to begin with).


For an average in-state freshman at UP, tuition for two semesters this year will cost $14,416 total, or $7,208 per semester. That breaks down to $6802 in pure ‘tuition,’ $76 activity fee, $230 IT fee, and $100 facilities fee. This represents a total increase of $295. Out of state students will see their tuition rise 3.7%, or $443.

Room and board rates are also rising. Last fall, the Board of Trustees had approved an average of 4.5% increase in room and board rates, a $225 increase per semester. The average underclassman in a double will pay $4,060 for room and board per semester.

All together, the average underclassman at UP will see an increase of $1,040 over the course of the year. We’d love to hear in the comments what students and faculty think of the increase and how it can be stemmed in future years.

Wondering how the tuition increase compares to other Big Ten schools? Well, first off, Penn State is the most expensive public (or are we?) university in the Big Ten. (Northwestern’s tuition is $38,461, average for a private university.)

Our tuition increase is the 6th highest in the Big Ten by percent but the 6th highest in gross dollars. Northwestern has the greatest increase per semester ($660) and Michigan has the second greatest ($622).

About the Author


Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.


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