Penn State trustees to consider tiered tuition increases
Penn State trustees on Friday are expected to approve five levels of tuition for the 2013-14 school year ranging from a 3.39 percent increase at the main University Park campus to no increase at the Shenango commonwealth campus in Mercer County, where enrollment fell to fewer than 600 students last fall.
The tiered rates are an attempt to attract more students from Western Pennsylvania as the pool of high school graduates in the region shrinks and competition for them increases among the region's colleges and universities.
“With that in mind, we would like to offer lower rate increases at those campuses, and no increase at Penn State Shenango, to make access to a Penn State education available to as many prospective and current students in those regions as possible,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said on Thursday.
Under the proposal, Pennsylvania residents who are enrolled full-time at Penn State Mont Alto and Wilkes-Barre and the Western Pennsylvania campuses of Penn State Beaver, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny and New Kensington would see an increase of 0.75 percent, or $47 per semester.
At Penn State Abington, Brandywine, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Worthington Scranton and York, tuition would increase 1.85 percent, or $116 per semester for Pennsylvania residents.
In-state tuition at Penn State's Altoona, Berks, Erie and Harrisburg campuses would climb 2.45 percent, or $160 per semester.
Base tuition at the commonwealth campuses varied from $12,474 to $13,018 for the 2012-13 year.
The 3.39 percent tuition rise at University Park would boost in-state tuition by $264 per semester. Annual tuition last year there was $15,562.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.