Health Care

State System of Higher Education considers 3.5-percent tuition hike

State System of Higher Education considers 3.5-percent tuition hike”

The increase is aimed to close about half of the $71.7 million budget gap that the 14-university system faces for this fiscal year, despite an $8.9 million increase in state funding from last year's budget.

Nonresident, undergraduate tuition also will increase by 3.5 percent beginning in the fall, ranging from $11,238 to $18,730 for the 2017-18 academic year.

The 20-member Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education passed a 3.5 percent tuition increase for 2017-18 on Thursday. The increase would bring in about $35 million, with cuts in expenses at each university making up the remainder of the deficit.Declining enrollment is a significant part of the shortfall, officials said.

That works out to $127 more each semester. Out-of-state graduate tuition will rise by $25 per credit to $750. The technology fee will be $464 for full-time resident students and $706 for full-time nonresidents. Over the last decade, the 14 state-owned institutions have reduced almost $325 million.

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In a statement, Board Chairwoman, Cynthia Shapira, says that the system has done a good job over the last decade in holding down costs.

The commonwealth over the last three years has restored about $40 million of the almost $90 million in funding that was cut from the State System's annual appropriation at the beginning of the recession.

Faced with projections of continuing enrollment declines, members of the PASSHE oversight board will vote on a 3.5 percent tuition increase recommended at a committee meeting Wednesday. "We all are committed to ensuring this continues". This year's appropriation essentially matches the amount the system received from the state in 2001-02.

The state universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

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