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Pitt trustees boost tuition 3.25 percent at Oakland campus

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:27 a.m.

University of Pittsburgh students will pay 3.25 percent more in tuition next fall at the Oakland campus.

The rates that Pitt trustees approved on Wednesday will raise base tuition for Pennsylvania students at the Oakland campus from $15,730 to $16,240 for the 2013-14 school year.

“I was expecting it, but it will certainly hit me hard. I'm already strapped for cash,” said Antonio Diaz-Guy, 20, of Negley, Ohio.

A junior majoring in economics, math and philosophy, Diaz-Guy said he turned down full academic scholarship offers from several schools to attend Pitt.

Chief Financial Officer Arthur Ramicone said Pitt will increase its financial aid pool by the same percentage as tuition, boosting aid to students to $165 million for 2013-14. The tuition increases, approved as part of the university's $1.94 billion operating budget, are the second lowest since 1975, Ramicone said.

Pitt's action follows a 3.39 percent tuition increase at Penn State last week that bumped tuition for incoming freshmen at University Park from $15,562 to $16,090.

Pitt and Penn State, both of which get state subsidies, typically rank as the priciest public universities in the nation in annual surveys.

Like Penn State, Pitt opted to adopt lower tuition increases at branch campuses.

Students at Pitt's regional campuses in Bradford, Johnstown and Greensburg will pay 2 percent more, a jump from $11,970 to $12,208 for the 2013-14 year. Tuition at the Titusville campus will remain $10,544.

Trustees approved a 5 percent tuition increase at Pitt's School of Medicine, which brings tuition to $46,962 for 2013-14.

The increase reflects the higher costs of education and the school's struggle to recover from a 50 percent reduction in state subsidies two years ago, said Dr. Arthur Levine, dean of the medical school.

Students at Pitt's Oakland campus said the latest round of tuition increases came as no surprise.

Out-of-state students such as Diaz-Guy, who pay base tuition of $25,420 a year, will pay $26,246 in 2013-14.

Paige Calhoun, 21, a senior accounting major from Texas, said the annual increases are a fact of life.

“I'll probably just take out another loan,” she said.

Applications for admission to Pitt were up 16 percent this year.

“This year, once again, Pitt strengthened its position as an institution of choice for hard-working, high-achieving students,” said Chancellor Mark Nordenberg.

Ramicone said Pitt tried to keep tuition increases low while balancing its budget with a state subsidy equal to what the university received in 1995. He noted that the consumer price index has increased 53 percent since that time and the Higher Education Price Index has risen 77 percent.

Debra Erdley is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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