Three Percent Tuition Increase Approved for State Universities

The higher rates will be effective for the 2012-2013 school year.

Bucks and Montgomery County students attending one of the 14 Pennsylvania state colleges in the fall will have to pay more for their tuition next year.

The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Monday approved a 3 percent tuition increase for the 2012-13 academic year.

The increase amounts to an extra $188 per year, or $94 each semester. The total tuition cost for a full time, resident undergraduate student will be $6,428. Taking into account additional fees, room and board, the average total cost for a state university is about $16,000, said PASSHE spokesperson Kenn Marshall.

Are you a student, a parent? Is $16,000/year for a state university worth the price to you? Leave a comment.

According to a report released in June by the U.S. Department of Education, the national average cost of a public, four-year college has increased 15 percent to $6,669 between 2008 and 2010. In comparison, the average tuition cost for a private four year, not-for-profit university has increased by 9.7 percent to $21,949.

"Tuition alone at a private university in Pennsylvania ranges from the lowest at $20,000 to $40,000," said Marshall.

Marshall said the additional funds will help cover rising utility, health care and employee compensation costs. With Governor Tom Corbett's 2012-2013 budget providing the same $240 million of state support for the universities as last year, the increase was needed to keep up with expenses.

The PASSHE also increased tuition technology fee by $10 to $358 for the full academic year for full-time resident students and by $16 to $542 for full-time nonresident students. According to a release, all funds raised by the technology fee are used to directly benefit student learning. Universities have used the funds to install new computer labs and to design multi-media classrooms, among other projects.

The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

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