Pitt tuition up an average of 3.3 percent for 2014-15
Students at the University of Pittsburgh's Oakland campus will have a 3.9 percent increase in tuition this fall under the $1.97 billion budget school trustees approved on Friday.
The increase brings base tuition for Pennsylvania undergraduate students to $16,872 a year, keeping Pitt's tuition the highest among the nation's public universities. Second is Penn State, which bumped base tuition this month 3 percent for incoming freshmen to $16,572.
“Both of us have higher charges than we would like, but that is a function of state funding,” said outgoing Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg.
Nordenberg, who is stepping aside as chancellor on Aug. 1 after nearly two decades, said he worries tuition increases spurred by a 22 percent reduction in state funding four years ago and three successive years of flat funding have shifted an ever-heavier burden to students who must rely on loans.
A study found 42 states have begun to restore cuts they made to universities as a result of the economic downturn. Pennsylvania, which continues to endure budget hurdles, is not among them.
Pitt freshman Katlyn Barthen, 18, of Franklin grimaced when she heard the news of the tuition increase as she walked across campus.
“I guess it's not the best of things. But it really doesn't matter to me because this is Pitt,” she said, adding that she's reconciled to taking out loans to get a Pitt education.
Others share that sentiment.
Pitt officials said the university set a record for applications this year. To date, 30,600 students have applied for 3,900 spots in the freshman class at the Oakland school.
Nordenberg said the increase has occurred despite a shrinking pool of high school graduates.
Pitt Provost Patricia Beeson said the university's regional campuses in Greensburg, Johnstown, Bradford and Titusville have experienced an uptick in applications this year.
Smaller tuition increases this fall at the branch campuses bring the average increase to 3.3 percent university-wide.
Despite reductions in state subsidies, Standard & Poor's rating agency gave Pitt its stamp of financial approval in June, raising the university's bond rating to AA+, a notch higher than the AA rating the agency gave the state.
Katherine Moakes, 21, of suburban Philadelphia and a student at the Oakland campus, said the tuition increase of $632 for the year will be tough, but she'll make it with help from her parents and loans for living costs. She worries about classmates who are trying to make ends meet on their own.
“I've seen how hard it is for people who are paying for everything themselves. They are always struggling to pay their bills, work and go to class,” said Moakes, a senior who is majoring in environmental science.
Pitt's Chief Financial Officer Arthur Ramicone said the school will tap its reserves to increase financial aid to students by the same rate as the overall tuition rate increase. That will bring university aid to students to about $168 million in 2014-15, he said.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills fire displaces 10
- Port Authority’s plan for car-free communities slow to bear fruit
- Solarize Allegheny powers up with more communities
- Shaler man charged with homicide, abuse of corpse in McKeesport woman’s death
- Newsmaker: Tamika Duck
- Civil War vet gets 21-gun salute
- One person taken to hospital after fire in Scott
- Allegheny County police officer on leave after assault charges filed
- Gunfire wounds man near Riverview Park
- 3 Brentwood council members submit resignation letters
- Flooded out of Big Easy, veterinarian builds new life in Lawrenceville