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State university system makes changes to boost enrollment, graduation rates

| Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 6:12 p.m.

The board of the State System of Higher Education approved a long-range plan Thursday to increase the number of degrees and certificates its universities award, bring in more working adults and transfer students and boost graduation rates.

The board also approved flexible tuition plans for six schools, giving them the authority to charge different tuition rates, according to spokesman Kenn Marshall. PASSHE universities historically have charged the same tuition rate to all resident students.

California University of Pennsylvania plans to reduce tuition charged to active members of the military, their spouses and dependents, according to the state system.

Clarion and Edinboro would establish new course- or program-specific fees for nursing programs. Clarion would establish a similar fee for its communication and speech disorders program. Edinboro would reduce tuition for nonresidents.

The long-range plan calls for increasing the number of undergraduates older than 25 to at least 11,000 and the number of community college transfer students to at least 4,000; and increasing to 53,000 the number of students enrolled in distance education, including online.

The system's long-range goals are expected to be met by 2020, the system stated.

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