Penn State & University of Pittsburgh tuition remains highest



The main campuses of the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University are again at the top the national list of highest in-state tuition and required fees among four-year public colleges or universities.

The U.S. Department of Education Monday released an updated version of its College Affordability and Transparency lists at http://​collegecost.ed.gov/​catc/

The list of the top 5 percent in tuition and required fees of four-year public colleges and universities put the Oakland campus of the University of Pittsburgh at No. 1 with a tuition of $16,590, followed by Penn State’s University Park campus at $16,444 in 2012-13.

Of 34 campuses listed, 15 are Penn State campuses, including Greater Allegheny, ranking 26th at $13,356.

Temple University also made this list, placing 19th at $13,596.

The national average was $7,407.

Pitt spokesman Ken Service said the fact that Pitt, Penn State and Temple are high on the list “is directly related to the fact that Pennsylvania continues to provide substantially less support for public higher education than other states, passing more of the cost on to students and their families.”

He cited the latest figures from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association that rank Pennsylvania 47th of 50 states in higher education support per capita.

Mr. Service said Pitt’s level of state support is the equivalent of that in 1995, unadjusted for inflation. With inflation, “Pitt now receives lower levels of support than at any time since it was made a public university in the mid-1960s,” he said.

He noted that Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked Pitt for nine years as the top value of public colleges and universities.

The U.S. Department of Education also ranked schools by their net price in 2011-12 for full-time beginning undergraduates who received grant or scholarship aid from the federal, state or local government or the institution. Net price takes into account what students pay for the total cost of attendance — tuition, room, board and some other expenses — after grant or scholarship aid is considered.

In this category, the national average was $11,582. With a net price of $22,560, Penn State’s main campus ranked second only to Miami University in Ohio, which had a net price of $24,674.

In net price, Pitt’s main campus came in fourth at $21,641; Temple was sixth at $21,012.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers echoed the concern about state appropriations, which she said "have been eroding for decades. Penn State is currently at the same funding level from the state that we were at in 1996, when we served about 20,000 fewer students than today."

She said Penn State has "worked hard to retain the high quality of a Penn State education in the face of these significant decreases in state funding that have been occurring at the same time our student population is growing."

She said Penn State "dramatically increased our commitment to need-based aid for incoming students through several university-supported awards" and made other efforts to address cost.

As for private, not-for-profit, four-year colleges and universities, Carnegie Mellon University ranked seventh in the nation and first in Pennsylvania at $45,760 in tuition and required fees, but its national rank fell to 49th when its net price of $33,257 was considered.

The report said that 61 percent of full-time beginning undergraduates at CMU received grant or scholarship aid from the federal, state or local governments or the institution. The figure is 37 percent at Penn State’s main campus, 50 percent at Pitt’s main campus and 78 percent at Temple.

The highest tuition at a private, not-for-profit college was $49,793 at Landmark College in Vermont.

The highest net price at a private, not-for-profit college was $46,646 at Hult International Business School in Massachusetts.

View the tuition data below or click here to download the spreadsheet.


Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955. First Published June 30, 2014 11:42 PM

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