Temple University board to vote on tuition increase today

Temple University’s board of trustees this afternoon voted to raise tuition and fees 3.6 percent or $500, following last year when rates were frozen.

“For this year, doing zero just wasn’t possible,” said Ken Kaiser, senior associate vice president for finance and human resources.

In-state students will pay $14,096 annually in tuition and fees, up from $13,596 in 2012-13. The increase includes a $400 or 2.8 percent hike in tuition and a $100 or 17 percent increase in the mandatory student activity fee, which will rise to $690. The activity fee increase was driven by an increased demand for counseling, advising and career services, officials said.

Temple a year ago froze tuition for the first time since 1995. In-state students paid $13,596 in tuition and fees for 2012-13. Room and board costs rose 3.9 percent, with students in a standard double room paying $6,700.

The university accomplished the tuition freeze by cutting $35 million from its budget and even with flat funding from the state, Kaiser said. The state again has proposed flat funding for Temple and the other state-related universities.

“It’s difficult to do much more on the efficiency side at this point,” Kaiser said, noting that the university cumulatively has shaved $113 million from its operating budget since fiscal 2010.

As for room and board, he said the cost for some standard rooms will not rise at all, while other rooms will see increases.

“We’re trying to give everyone choices and opportunities,” he said.

Temple will increase its financial aid budget by $8.1 milliion, to $93 million to help students afford the cost, officials said.

Over the lat 12 months, the core rate of inflation has gone up 1.7 percent.

Elsewhere in the area, cost increases vary.

Rowan University, a state school in Glassboro, N.J., froze tuition and fees and increased room and board by 2 percent. In-state students will pay $23,300 in tuition, fees and room and board.

Rowan President Ali Houshmand attributed the freeze in part to a “cost-center” budgeting system “that made departments and programs accountable for every dollar spent” and to an increase in enrollment that brought in more revenue.

Cabrini College, a private school in Radnor, also froze tuition, on the heels of cutting it by 12.5 percent last year. Students again will pay $29,000 in tuition. Most room costs also will stay the same, a spokeswoman said. Standard room and board runs about $11,660.

Penn, an Ivy League university, increased overall costs 3.9 percent to $58,812.

Several other private elite schools saw similar hikes. Haverford went up 3.9 percent, to $59,236; Bryn Mawr also rose 3.9 percent, to $57,760. Villanova rose 4 percent to $56,286. And Swarthmore rose 3.8 percent, to $57,870.

Drexel University, a private school in Philadelphia, also rose 3.9 percent, with the majority of its students in the five-year co-op program to pay between $49,010 to $53,360.

Other schools had slightly smaller increases. Arcadia University, a private school in Glenside, rose 3.3 percent, to $49,370. St. Joseph’s University, also private, went up 3.1 percent to $52,272.

Several state colleges and universities in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Rutgers, Pennsylvania State University and the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, have not yet set tuition and in some cases room and board. Their trustees are poised to vote in July.

Penn State previously approved a 4.2 percent increase in room and board for 2013-14, increasing cost to $9,370 annually.