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Posted on July 8, 2014

The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has approved a modest $198 tuition increase — $99 a semester — for the 2014-2015 academic year, virtually assuring that all 14 State System universities, including Cal U, will remain the lowest-cost option among all four-year colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.
The base tuition rate for full-time, resident undergraduate students attending any of the State System universities this fall will be $3,410 a semester, or $6,820 for the full academic year. Nearly 90 percent of PASSHE students are Pennsylvania residents and about 85 percent attend full-time.
“PASSHE universities offer tremendous value to students and their families, providing a unique combination of high-quality educational opportunities and the most affordable cost available,” said Board of Governors Chairman Guido M. Pichini.

Increase matches inflation rate

The tuition increase approved by the Board essentially matches next year’s projected rate of inflation of about 3 percent.

This marks the eighth time in the last 10 years the State System has been able keep the increase at close to the inflation rate. It has been able to do so despite the fact that funding from the state has been held steady for four consecutive years and now stands at just slightly above the amount that was received in 1997-1998  — 17 years ago.

As funding support has declined over the last decade, the universities have eliminated or avoided more than $250 million in operating costs from their combined budgets through efforts such as strategic sourcing, energy management, automating processes and services, reducing staffing levels and eliminating noncore and lower-priority programs and functions.

The universities will need to make additional combined reductions totaling about $30 million this year in order to balance their budgets.

State funding holds steady

The 2014-15 state budget passed by the Legislature and awaiting Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature includes about $412.7 million for the State System, the same amount it has received each year since 2011-2012, and about $90 million less than the System received in combined state and federal funds in 2010-2011.

“Our university leadership, especially our presidents, should be commended for the tremendous work they have done to contain their institutions’ costs and to become even more efficient in their operations during these challenging times,” Mr. Pichini said.

While struggling to keep their costs under control, the universities have continued to enhance the quality of programming they offer, with the vast majority of their academic programs earning or maintaining accreditation from professional organizations nationally. The universities also are offering more advanced professional degrees in response to growing workforce demand in areas including healthcare and science-related fields.

“The universities are doing what they need to do to meet the needs of students and their future employers,” said Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “As those needs change, our universities are realigning and redesigning programs and developing new programs that will help ensure students gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their careers and personal lives.”

With the tuition and other anticipated fee increases, the average total cost of attendance for a full-time, resident student at a State System university next year – including combined tuition, fees, room and board – will be about $18,500.
Full-time, nonresident tuition will range from about $7,160 to $17,050.

This information was provided in a news release from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. To read the entire release, which includes information about flexible tuition plans, new degrees and presidential contracts at PASSHE universities, click here