This is Penn State | Budget highlights

mdawson@centredaily.comAugust 23, 2013 

The cost to attend Penn State continues to climb, as the university upped tuition an average of 2.76 percent for the 2013-2014 academic year.

The tuition increase rates — the highest across the system was a 3.39 percent increase for freshmen and sophomores at the University Park campus — were approved as part of the university’s $4.4 billion budget in July after the state passed its own spending plan.

Some campuses in the western part of the state will see smaller rate increases, and the average 2.76 percent increase is the second lowest since 1967, the university’s officials have said.

Here are some budget highlights:

•  The budget calls for small increases to fees that show up on students’ bills.

•  The information technology fee will go up $4 a semester, to $248. The student activities fee will increase $2 to $87 a semester, and the student facilities fee will rise $4 to $116 per semester.

Penn State’s budget includes $285 million in state funding, up some $6 million over the last fiscal year.

The College of Agricultural Sciences scored some of that extra money — $1.5 million — raising its total appropriation to $46.2 million. That money mostly will help minimize downsizing and maintain the college’s current programs, though $300,000 is serving as seed money to help start three research centers.

Some $214 million of state money will go toward offsetting the cost of tuition for Pennsylvania residents, which stands as the second-highest among public universities in the country (after the University of Pittsburgh).

Tuition for in-state juniors and seniors varies, depending on their majors. The highest is $20,772 for nursing majors; $18,428 for students in the colleges of business, engineering, earth and mineral sciences and information and science technology; and $17,396 for the rest of the colleges.

Tuition for out-of-state students is also up from $27,854 to $28,664.

Penn State administrators pledged to keep the tuition rate increases as low as possible this year in exchange for flat funding from the state.

The university’s budget provides for “modest” employee raises, according to President Rodney Erickson.

Those raises will show up in paychecks starting in October instead of July.

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