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Last updated: July 08. 2014 11:19PM - 450 Views
Chambersburg Public Opinion



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HARRISBURG — Students enrolled at 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will pay $198 more in annual tuition in 2014-15, or $99 more each semester.


The system includes such schools as Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg and Lock Haven universities.


The PASSHE Board of Governors approved the new cost of tuition on Tuesday.


The base tuition rate for full-time, resident undergraduate students attending any of the PASSHE universities this fall will be $3,410 a semester, or $6,820 for the full academic year. Nearly 90 percent of PASSHE students are Pennsylvania residents and about 85 percent attend full-time.


With the tuition and other anticipated fee increases, the average total cost of attendance for a full-time, resident student at a PASSHE university next year – including combined tuition, fees, room and board – will be about $18,500. Full-time, nonresident tuition will range from about $7,160 to $17,050.


The tuition increase approved by the board essentially matches next year’s projected rate of inflation of about 3 percent. It marks the eighth time in the last 10 years PASSHE has been able keep the increase at close to the inflation rate.


It has been able to do so even though state funding has been held steady for four consecutive years and now stands at just slightly above the amount that was received in 1997-98 – 17 years ago.


As funding support has declined over the last decade, the universities have eliminated or avoided more than $250 million in operating costs from their combined budgets through efforts such as strategic sourcing, energy management, automating processes and services, reducing staffing levels and eliminating non-core and lower-priority programs and functions.


The universities will need to make additional combined reductions totaling about $30 million this year in order to balance their budgets.


The 2014-15 state budget passed by the legislature last week and awaiting Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature includes about $412.7 million for PASSHE, the same amount it has received each year since 2011-12, and about $90 million less than it received in combined state and federal funds in 2010-11.


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