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Penn State Trustees Committee Recommends Reduced Summer Tuition Rates

by on May 07, 2020 4:29 PM

Penn State students will see reduced tuition rates for summer classes, pending approval by the university's full Board of Trustees on Friday. 

The board's Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning met via video conference on Thursday and recommended a tuition structure that utilizes existing tiers to lower rates at each campus. As Pennsylvania and the nation continue to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State already announced that classes will continue to take place remotely this summer,with the possibility of a transition back to campus for the second session if circumstances permit.

University Park is normally classified as "tier 1," while Abington, Altoona, Berks, Erie, Harrisburg are typically tier 2. Under the plan that's expected to be approved on Friday, those students registered at those campuses will pay lower, tier 3 rates.

Tier 3 and 4 campuses, meanwhile, will pay tier 5 rates. Graduate and World Campus students also would have tuition adjusted and will be billed at about 95 percent of the normal rates for their programs.

For a full-time in-state undergraduate at University Park, the change represents a reduction of about $2,000. For an out-of-state student, it's about $6,000 less.

"This is entirely focused on us understanding the financial challenges that many of our students are facing," Penn State President Eric Barron said. "It uses existing tuition structures and levels, but essentially is a discounting that is occurring directly in recognition [of those financial challenges]. So the committee should look at this as an access and affordability initiative on behalf of the university."

The full schedule of tuition rates is available at

When Penn State administrators announced in April that classes would continue online in the summer, they also indicated they would request the board approve the tuition adjustments. 

Barron later said that the university also is planning a tuition freeze for all students for the 2020-21 academic year. That will be brought to the board for approval at its July meeting.

Penn State is expected to announce plans for whether it intends to hold classes in-person, online or some mix of the two in the fall by mid-June

The finance committee also recommended approval of a $6.8 billion interim operating budget, which includes no changes to tuition or salaries, wages or benefits or other expense increases.

A final budget will be presented to the board for approval in July. The university adopts an interim budget each year to ensure a financial plan is in place at the start of the fiscal year on July 1 until the board approves a final budget in mid-July.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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