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Penn State Announces Proposed Tuition Increases for 2011-'12

on July 15, 2011 10:54 AM

UPDATED @ 5:06 p.m. July 15: StateCollege.com has posted more thorough information about the 2011-'12 Penn State tuition rates on this page.

Earlier coverage is posted below.

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UPDATED @ 1:49 p.m. July 15: The Penn State trustees have now formally approved the university administration's proposed tuition rates and operating budget for 2011-'12, The Daily Collegian has reported via Twitter.

StateCollege.com will post additional details later today.

Earlier coverage is posted below.

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Earlier report, posted @ 10:54 a.m. July 15:

Penn State administrators proposed an in-state undergraduate tuition increase Friday of 4.9 percent for the 2011-'12 academic year, The Daily Collegian reported on Twitter.

Including proposed tuition rates for out-of-state students, the average undergraduate tuition increase at the university would be 3.8 percent, the Collegian noted.

The proposal was introduced before the university's full Board of Trustees at a regular meeting at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus. Trustees are expected to vote on the measure this afternoon. StateCollege.com will post more details as they become available.

Tuition rates vary for Penn State students depending upon their respective majors, campuses of attendance, years in school and resident statuses. The tuition price for in-state freshmen at the University Park campus last fall was $14,412, plus more than $800 in fees. Out-of-state students paid roughly double that price.

The tuition proposals for '11-'12 come as the university deals with a 19 percent -- or $68 million -- cut in its state funding, finalized in Harrisburg a couple weeks ago. Penn State President Graham Spanier has said repeatedly that the university will not force students to bear the brunt of that cut; instead, as he has noted, the university has been implementing more than $30 million in internal cost reductions and efficiency-improving measures.

Most Penn State employees will see no raises in the coming fiscal year; dozens of others are being laid off.

" ... We are very committed, and have been from the beginning, to not putting an excessive burden on the backs of our students," Spanier told reporters last month. "We expect to have a tuition increase that is what you might see in a normal year, not a substantial increase of the sort that you're going to see at universities around the country this year. Ours will definitely be on the low end."

The university's tuition increases ranged from roughly 3.9 percent to 5.9 percent last year; the year before, they were roughly in the 4 percent range. Spanier said Friday that the university was able to moderate the '11-'12 tuition prices due to increased applications from out-of-state students, The Daily Collegian reported on Twitter.

Traditionally, out-of-state tuition prices more accurately reflect the actual cost of a Penn State education, whereas in-state prices are moderated by the funding the university receives from the state government.

The other big state-related universities in Pennsylvania -- Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh -- set in-state tuition increases of about 10 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, earlier this summer. Their out-of-state tuition rates for 2011-'12 will climb 5.4 percent and 4 percent, respectively, as well. Both schools have seen state-funding reductions similar to the one imposed on Penn State.

At Temple, tuition for the coming academic year will be $13,006 for in-state undergraduate students and $22,832 for out-of-state undergraduates, according to The Associated Press. At Pitt, the new prices will be $15,272 for in-state students and $24,680 for out-of-state students.

Meanwhile, the average in-state tuition rate at public, four-year schools in the U.S. is $6,397, according to data released by the federal Department of Education. Penn State and Pitt have, in recent years, routinely ranked among the most expensive public universities in the country.

Officials from both schools have said their high tuition rates are a reflection, in large part, on the relative lack of support they see from Harrisburg. Pennsylvania often ranks among the least-generous states in its support of public higher education, a trend that's put increasing pressure on tuition pricing, school administrators have said.

Some state lawmakers have countered that the universities could do a better job managing their limited resources -- and not be so quick to raise tuition rates. Prices for in-state students at Penn State's flagship University Park campus have more than tripled since the early 1990s.

Earlier coverage

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