Penn State plans to hike tuition nearly 3 percent

Old Main on the Penn State campus in State College, Pa. The college plans to hike tuition by 3 percent. (LAURENCE KESTERSON / Staff Photographer)

Students at Penn State's University Parkl campus would see their tuition rise nearly 3 percent under a proposal to be considered by the board of trustees on Friday.

Under the proposal, in-state freshmen and sophmores in most majors would pay more than $27,200 in tuition, fees and room and board next year - that includes an annual increase of $482 in tuition. Charges for upperclassmen vary; they would pay more than $28,500.

In-state students at University Park last year paid on average $26,362 in tuition, fees and room and board.

The board earlier this year approved a 4.27 percent increase in room and board, which includes a standard double room and the most common meal plan.

The 2.99 percent tuition increase is smaller than last year, when students at University Park were hit with a 3.39 percent hike. That’s even though the university again received flat state funding - a development that former President Rodney Erickson had said last winter could lead to larger tuition increases.

Students at the branch campuses, including Brandywine, Abington and Great Valley, would get a smaller increase - 2.4 percent - under the plan.

Across the 24 campuses, the aggregate increase amounts to 2.73 percent, which university officials noted is the second lowest since 1967.

The proposal was unveiled at the board of trustees finance committee meeting on Thursday morning.

Fees at all campuses also would rise $14 or 3.1 percent. In addition, the university plans to impose a new $500 charge per semester on international students to help offset costs for their academic and student support services.

At Friday’s meeting, trustees will vote on a $4.6 billion budget, which includes $31 million in cuts, the university said in a news release.

“We appreciate the Commonwealth’s support during a challenging fiscal climate in Pennsylvania. Again this year, we have made a concerted effort to avoid unnecessary expenditures and minimize increases without sacrificing quality,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement.