University of Pittsburgh approves 3.9 percent tuition increase

University of Pittsburgh trustees today approved tuition increases of 3.9 percent for main campus students and 2 percent for the school's regional campuses for the 2014-15 academic year.

The varied tuition rates voted on by the board's executive and budget committees amount to an overall, blended tuition hike of 3.3 percent for the university's 35,000 students.

The tuition is part of a $1.97 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

Tuition charges to individual students vary depending on fields of study and location. In arts and sciences, Pitt's largest area, in-state students attending full time at the main campus will see a $632 annual increase in base tuition, which this past year totaled $16,240. Out-of-state students in arts and sciences will see a $1,022 annual increase.

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Education ranked Pitt as the most expensive public university for tuition and fees, just ahead of Penn State University.

At this morning's meeting, Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg acknowledged that, adding, "We are more expensive than we'd like."

However, he said the Education Department ranking is for base tuition, and that once four-year rates are factored in, Penn State actually is more expensive because of an extra charge to juniors and seniors there.

Mr. Nordenberg, as he has in past years, described Pitt's budget as a sound spending plan that properly balances the need to shepherd resources while maintaining quality.

Pitt, like Penn State, has laid much of the blame for high tuition on recent state funding cuts, which at Pitt have dropped aid back to mid-1990s levels.

Pitt Provost Patricia Beeson said applications for 3,900 freshman slots at the main campus this fall have increased and total more than 30,000. She said applications and deposits also are running ahead for this fall at campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville, some of which have faced soft enrollment demand in recent years.

Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 or on Twitter @BschacknerPG. First Published July 18, 2014 12:00 AM

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