The cost to attend Penn State continues to climb, and this year the university upped tuition an average of 2.73 percent for the 2014-15 academic year.
Most University Park students face a 2.99 percent tuition hike, approved as part of the university’s $4.42 billion budget in July after the state passed its own spending plan.
For most in-state students, it means an extra $482 a year, pushing the total they pay annually for tuition to $16,572. Students from outside Pennsylvania will pay $858 more, or $29,522 for the year.
A student from Pennsylvania starting as a freshman at the University Park campus this coming school year would pay about $27,108 for tuition, on-campus housing, meals and fees.
University Park upperclassmen who are studying business or certain STEM fields will face even higher increases. In-state students in those fields face a hike of 5.16 percent, or $950 more a year, and students from outside the state will see a 4.27 percent increase, or $1,336 more a year.
Proposed tuition increases are smaller at the university’s commonwealth campuses, between 1.2 and 2.4 percent, and at one, Penn State Shenango in the western part of the state, there will be no increase.
Penn State’s budget includes a $214.1 million general support appropriation from the state, which is level funding for the third consecutive year. In 2011, state funding was cut dramatically. Since then, tuition has continued to climb.
The 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.)
“We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that access to a Penn State degree is within the financial reach of the citizens of the commonwealth, without sacrificing the quality of our programs,” President Eric Barron said in a statement.
“We appreciate the commonwealth’s support in a challenging fiscal climate,” Barron said. “As Pennsylvania’s economy improves, it is my hope that we can demonstrate that an additional investment in Penn State will yield economic gains for every citizen of the commonwealth.”
Other highlights from the budget:• Revenue generated by tuition and fees represents 79 percent of the university’s general fund budget, while state appropriations are 13.2 percent.
• Penn State included more than $31 million in internal reallocation and targeted budget restrictions before considering a tuition increase.
• This year’s average tuition hike is the second-lowest percentage increase since 1967.