Barron Proposes Tuition Freeze for Eight Commonwealth Campuses
In his report to the Board of Trustees, President Eric Barron proposed tuition freezes at eight of the 19 undergraduate commonwealth campuses next year as part of his access and affordability goals for the University.
Under his plan, the Beaver, Dubois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Shenango, and Wilkes-Barre campuses will have the same tuition rates for the 2015-2016 academic year as they do for 2014-15.
“Our University is committed to access and affordability, so any student in Pennsylvania who is qualified to receive a Penn State education should be supported to the extent we have that ability,” Barron said. “This includes putting into practice practical initiatives to help increase retention and graduation rates while decreasing the cost of a degree and the rate of student borrowing.”
According to the University, 39 percent of students at Commonwealth Campuses and 21 percent at University Park are the first in their families to attend college. With the average debt of a Penn State graduate growing over $15,000 from 2005 to today, rising tuition costs are certainly a major problem for many students at Penn State.
“Penn State remains committed to keeping our tuition increases as low as practically possible, and we are pleased that this year we may favorably impact students at these 14 campuses,” Barron said. “Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses provide educational opportunities for a diverse population of students, many from families with fewer financial resources. The campuses also serve non-traditional students, and about 60 percent of all students work 22 hours a week on average.”
Barron included five additional access and affordability goals, headed by the Penn State Enhanced Education Pathways Committee:
- Math, English and foreign language preparation for incoming students.
- Summer school/on campus employment for first- and second-year students.
- Expanding the Student Transitional Experiences Program (STEP II).
- Increased emphasis on financial literacy and well-being.
- Increasing institutional support for the Provost Awards scholarship program by $5 million in summer/fall 2015.
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