Tuition at 14 Pennsylvania universities to rise 3 percent

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Tuition at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities will increase by 3 percent this fall under a proposal approved this morning by the State System of Higher Education's board of governors.

The panel, meeting in Harrisburg, approved a $194 increase for the 2013-14 academic year. It brings the in-state yearly rate to $6,622 at the State System's member universities, including California, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana and Slippery Rock universities in Western Pennsylvania.

The board also approved a $10 increase in the technology fee charged across the 115,000-student system. The fee will now be $368 a year.

Officials say they have struggled to balance a desire to minimize price increases with growing budgetary stresses on several fronts, including the economy and the school's level of Commonwealth support.

The system's $412.8 million state appropriation for its education and general needs is 18 percent less than it was in 2010-11.

Fewer students have also meant less revenue in an operating budget approaching $1.6 billion.

Like other universities across the state, the 14 State System schools have seen campus numbers slip for reasons including a decline in the number of high school graduates across the Commonwealth.

Officials were provided data at today's meeting indicating that enrollment is expected to be down again this fall.

The board this morning also approved a proposal by Slippery Rock University to deliver an MBA program at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry.

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Bill Schackner: bschackner@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG


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