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Finance Committee Recommends Lowered Tuition Rates For Summer Session 2020

Penn State’s Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning met virtually Thursday afternoon to recommend revised summer session tuition rates and a name for the university’s planned art museum.

The committee recommended lowering Penn State’s University Park, Abington, Altoona, Berks, Erie, and Harrisburg campuses to “tier three” tuition rates, while all other campuses would fall to “tier five.” Members added more specific details to build on the university’s plans outlined earlier this spring.

Compared to the already-established summer tuition rates, full-time, in-state University Park students would save nearly $2,000, while full-time out-of-state students would save approximately $6,000.

“I want to make sure everybody realizes that this is entirely focused on us understanding the financial challenges that many of our students are facing,” President Eric Barron said. “[It] uses existing tuition structure and levels but essentially is a discounting that is occurring directly in recognition [of students’ struggles].”

Committee members noted that Penn State currently appears to be the only Big Ten university taking a similar approach to lowering summer session tuition rates to address economic burdens.

Earlier this spring, Penn State announced it would move summer session courses online amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the university remained optimistic it could return to in-person instruction mid-summer should health guidelines allow it to.

The committee also recommended naming Penn State’s planned art museum the “Palmer Museum of Art” to recognize the Palmer family’s contributions to the university.

“in recognition of the Palmers’ tremendous efforts, which well exceed over 50% of the conceived construction costs, we’re recommending that this be the new name moving forward,” Bill Sitzabee, associate vice president of facility management & planning, said.

The Palmers have donated an excess of $56 million to the university over the years, which came in terms of both donated art and cash gifts to Penn State.

The new $71 million art museum, which is expected to be completed in 2022 as of last spring, will be located near the Arboretum’s botanical gardens. The current museum will remain a space for students.

Both of these recommendations, as well as Penn State’s $6.853 billion 2020-2021 proposed interim operating budget, will be voted on during the Board of Trustees May meeting Friday afternoon.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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