Indiana University of Pennsylvania has opted to defer for one year its previously announced per-credit tuition pilot in reaction to last week’s vote by the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to freeze tuition, if Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget funding for the System is approved by the Pennsylvania legislature.
In an announcement to the faculty and staff today, IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll explained that the one-year tuition freeze is contingent on the State System of Higher Education receiving $45.3 million in additional appropriation, which would result in an additional allocation to IUP.
IUP’s per-credit tuition pilot and those of several other universities were approved by the State System’s board earlier this year. The IUP plan is one part of a three-pronged budget strategy meant to initiate long-term budget sustainability in the face of flat funding from the commonwealth. IUP and the other state-owned universities in the State System of Higher Education currently receive roughly 23 percent of their budgets from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Through the pilot, students would pay for credits they take, in contrast to the current pricing structure, which entails a flat rate for full-time students who take 12 to 17.9 credits. The pilot program calls for applying a portion of the tuition proceeds to need- and merit-based scholarships.
“While the tuition pilot affords a fair solution to students at a time the university needs to stabilize the budget, we recognize that it creates a financial burden to some. Given this board action and to give IUP families the chance to plan, deferring is the right thing to do at this time,” Driscoll said. “We are committed to keeping the cost of education as low as possible as we move toward a sustainable budget model.”
IUP will be notifying students about the change and will be revising financial aid packages for new students who have received financial aid award letters, and updating the on-line cost calculator to reflect the current (flat rate) tuition pricing structure.