In what it characterizes as “a decidedly bold move,” Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is freezing its tuition at current levels for the 2013-14 school year despite “a climate where higher education costs continue to increase.”
The decision keeps tuition at $23,900 for full-time undergraduates and full-time graduate tuition at $19,500 for the second year. According to a news release, that is nearly $6,000 below the average for private universities in Pennsylvania and more than $8,700 below the national average for private universities, More than 98 percent of HU students receive some form of financial aid.
The move comes at a time when the private nonprofit university, struggling financially, is working hard to increase its student body to at least 500, which administrators predict will be its break-even point. Fees are staying the same, and HU doesn't charge board, according to spokesman Steven Infanti; however, room rates are increasing $180 per semester for standard doubles and $130 per semester for standard triple.
In related news, Millersville University has increased its room and board charges by $199 and its undergraduate fees by $34.50 for the upcoming year, totaling $4,816 and $941.25 respectively.
"The University and the trustees were mindful of these continued difficult economic times and worked hard to keep the costs down. The increase is due to personnel costs, normal inflationary increases in operating expenses and increases in utility charges," Roger Bruszewski, MU vice president for finance and administration, said in a news release.
MU is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which usually sets tuition costs in June. PASSHE has increased tuition every year since 1998; tuition is currently $6,428, and the PASSHE website says increases have been at or below the rate of inflation five of the last eight years.