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Posted on July 11, 2014

Portrait of Interim University President Geraldine Jones.

To: All Cal U students
From: Interim President Geraldine M. Jones

As you may have heard, this week the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education approved a new tuition rate for all 14 PASSHE universities, including Cal U.

In the 2014-2015 academic year, the base tuition rate for full-time, resident undergraduate students will be $3,410 per semester, or $6,820 for the full academic year.

This is an increase of $98 per semester, or $198 for the academic year. As the board noted, this increase matches the projected rate of inflation for the coming year, about 3 percent.

Why must students and their families pay more?

Although tuition dollars account for a major portion of the University’s budget, tuition alone doesn’t pay the bills. A portion of the state budget — in other words, money from taxpayers — helps to reduce costs for students at PASSHE schools.

That public funding for the State System has held steady for the past four years. In the meantime, costs for basics such as utilities, essential technology and personnel continue to rise. The tuition increase will help to meet those expenses.

The University is doing its part by working aggressively to cut costs without compromising the quality of Cal U’s academic programs. Every department on campus has contributed to that effort. Some staff and administrative positions have been left unfilled, and nonessential spending has been sharply curtailed.

I’ve joined our leadership team in poring over the University budget, line by line, looking for additional savings. The University also seeks scholarship dollars that can help to reduce students’ costs, and we are marketing Cal U aggressively in an effort to increase enrollment.

I am always mindful of the financial pressures faced by our students and their families. Yet even with the modest tuition increase announced this week, I am convinced that a degree from California University of Pennsylvania remains a sound investment.

In fact, Cal U recently was ranked among the nation’s top 100 colleges and universities by Educate to Career, whose fact-based analysis determines which schools do the best job of improving graduates’ earning potential and boosting their chances for quality employment.

If you are a student who is concerned about tuition costs, I urge you to contact the Office of Financial Aid right away. Ask questions now, before the fall semester begins. For academic concerns, please contact the Office of Academic Success. We want to help you stay on track and complete your degree in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Our graduates go on to achieve success in many different fields, and their accomplishments speak volumes about the value of a Cal U education.

I wish you all a safe and productive summer!

Interim President Jones' signature.

Meet Interim President Geraldine M. Jones