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Finance Committee Recommends 2.29 Percent Tuition Increase For In-State Students

They say all good things must come to an end.

The Board of Trustees committee on finance, business, and capital planning proposed a 2.29 percent tuition increase for in-state students for the 2016-17 school year despite a 2.5 percent appropriations increase from the state.

As part of the annual budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year and tuition schedule, the committee passed the increase that some feared would happen despite the increased appropriations. The tuition hike includes a 1.76 percent tuition increase across all university campuses. The committee also recommended a 2016-17 budget of $5,141,704,000. 32.8 percent of this will come from tuition and 35.1 percent from hospitals and clinics. This marks the first time that any income category will account for more of the budget than tuition.

While this is similar to last year’s original proposal to increase tuition 1.99 percent before President Barron stepped in and recommended an (ultimately approved) tuition freeze for in-state students, Penn Staters shouldn’t hope to be so lucky this time.

Last week, Pennsylvania legislators passed the state’s budget eight-and-a-half months faster than they did last year. The 2016-17 budget included a 2.5 percent increase in general support appropriations for the university from the 2015-16 amount, which is used for things like countering the cost of tuition.

Bill Oldsey, a vocal supporter of decreasing and/or freezing student tuition, stood in lone opposition of the tuition increase.

“I am fundamentally opposed to increasing in-state tuition,” Oldsey said.

Despite the extra help from Gov. Wolf, inflation plays a role in determining how much students will have to pay to attend Penn State, as does last year’s 0 percent tuition increase. Other state-related schools also saw an increase in appropriations in this year’s budget, but both Pitt and Temple announced tuition increases for students in the last week, with in-state rates going up 2.3 percent in Oakland and 2.8 percent at Temple.

Both rates are pending approval in the full Board meeting tomorrow afternoon, though it is more likely this year that the increase will be approved as recommended.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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