PSU president to propose record low tuition hike

Parents and students at Penn State may get a smaller hit in the wallet this fall.

PSU president Rodney Erickson said today he is proposing a record low tuition increase for in-state students.

Erickson, speaking at news conference at the Capitol with Gov. Corbett, said he will present to the Board of Trustees a 2.9 percent increase for state students attending the University Park campus and a 1.9 percent increase at Commonwealth campuses.

If approved, the "blended" tuition rate of 2.4 percent would be the lowest since 1967, Erickson said.

Earlier the university set the room-and-board increase at an average 2.86 percent, $125 higher than the current year's rate of $4,370.

Erickson and the heads of the three other state-related universities joined Corbett to formally announce the restoration of the governor's proposed 30 percent budget cut to Penn State and the other state-related schools.

Erickson's announcement comes a day after Temple University's board of trustees vote to hold the line on tuition for 2012-13 - the first time since 1995, the university has not raised tuition.

Lincoln University president Robert Jennings said the board of trustees at his school approved a 3 percent tuition hike at its April meeting. University of Pittsburgh chancellor Mark Nordenberg said the board would be meeting in two weeks to discuss its tuition rates for the fall.

Corbett said higher-than-expected revenues in the last few months made the restorations possible.

“Coupled with the largest amount of state taxpayer dollars ever put toward basic education, this financial commitment should leave no doubt: in Pennsylvania, education is our top spending priority,’’ Corbett said.

All told, higher education will receive $1.58 billion in the 2012-2013 budget which is en route to Corbett's desk.

In return for $937.9 million in state funding, post secondary education leaders promised minimal tuition hikes.

Erickson praised the funding restorations and pledged to continue efforts to cut costs.

"This allows Penn State to take a major step in continuing the affordability of higher education," he said.

Temple's acting president, Richard Englert, said the university will invest an additional $8 million toward its tuition aid fund, bringing the total to $90 million.

"We are dedicated to helping student debt remain as low as possible," he said.




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