2.9% jump set at PSU's main campus

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- As promised during this year's state budget debate, Penn State University officials on Friday approved tuition increases for the upcoming year of 2.4 percent across the school's campuses.

The vote to boost tuition came during the board of trustees meeting on the Penn State Worthington Scranton campus, one day after the release of an independent report charging that the board did not properly oversee top administrators leading up to the arrest and conviction of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Freshmen and sophomores at the University Park flagship campus will see a 2.9 percent increase, or $438, for a new in-state tuition rate of $15,562.

The increase is the lowest percentage tuition boost in 45 years and one of the smallest in the nation, university officials said.

Out-of-state undergraduates at University Park will pay 2.4 percent more in the upcoming school year. Tuition at the university's 19 branch campuses will increase by 1.9 percent for Pennsylvania residents.

Last year's larger hike of 4.9 percent for most of the school's in-state undergraduates followed a reduction in state aid of 20 percent, or about $68 million.

This spring, Penn State administrators, along with their counterparts at the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University, agreed to keep tuition hikes at or below the consumer price index if state lawmakers would maintain funding at current levels.

University president Rodney Erickson thanked the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett for continuing the school's current funding in the budget approved last month.

"We recognize that there are many competing interests for limited state dollars, and we're committed to offering a superb return on that investment," Mr. Erickson said.

He said Penn State is working to keep its costs down and to help students graduate on time, calling the balance between maximizing learning opportunities and minimizing expense the "grand challenge" facing universities.


Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 1-717-787-4254.


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