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Board of Governors Approves Tuition Increase for 2011–2012

The following is a presss release from PASSHE about the tuition increase for 2011–2012.

The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) today approved a $436 tuition increase for the 2011–2012 academic year. The increase will only partially offset the loss of more than $90 million in state and federal funding PASSHE will receive next year, or approximately $802 per full-time student.

PASSHE’s state funding level next year will fall nearly to the level it was in 1997–1998—fourteen years ago. The decrease reflects a loss of more than $52 million in state funding and $38 million in federal stimulus funds.

“As we said at our budget hearings in both the House and Senate earlier this year, we will not ask our students to bear the entire burden of the budget cuts we are facing,” PASSHE Chancellor John Cavanaugh said. “The tuition increase approved by the board today will fall significantly short of the funding we need to replace what we lost. Above all, we must keep tuition affordable for our students and their families. Our universities will have to find additional ways to reduce their budgets so that we can do so.”

The new annual tuition rate for full-time, resident undergraduate students beginning this fall will be $6,240—still among the lowest rate of all four-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, and well below the national average among all public institutions.

“Despite the severe fiscal challenges we face, we are committed to offering high-quality, affordable education to our students,” Board of Governors Chairman Guido Pichini said. “I am confident our universities will take the steps necessary to ensure PASSHE universities continue to offer the best educational value in the Commonwealth.”

The PASSHE universities over the last decade have eliminated more than $220 million from their combined budgets through a variety of cost controls, including collaborative purchasing, greater energy efficiency, and reduced consumption. A voluntary retirement incentive program offered last year resulted in 257 retirement-eligible employees leaving the System and a voluntary furlough program resulted in twenty-eight additional positions being eliminated. The combined impact of the two programs is expected to be an annual savings of $10 million beginning this year.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with nearly 120,000 students. The fourteen PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City, and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.

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