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Rep. Greg Lucas to introduce bill for state schools to set own out-of-state tuition

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A Northwestern Pennsylvania lawmaker said Monday he expects to introduce legislation allowing Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities to set their own tuition rates for out-of-state students to better compete for those students.

"We have heard a lot about 'brain drain' and the fact that we are losing college graduates and young professionals to other states," state Rep. Greg Lucas, R-Crawford and Erie counties, said in a statement. "My bills are about 'brain gain.' We want to bring smart high school graduates to our state-owned universities and show them what Pennsylvania has to offer."

The other bill Lucas announced Monday would lower the application fee to state system universities for in-state high school seniors to $5 on the third Thursday of every October, according to a news release.

Lucas stated universities in the system should have flexibility to compete while also being "an attractive option for smart kids who live in our Commonwealth."

The out-of-state tuition plan would allow universities in the state system to compete with schools from other states for students, the release stated.

The state system's board of governors sets tuition for all students today, and the bill would allow each institution the decision for out-of-state rates as long as the rates were at least as high as what in-state students are charged, according to the release.

Lucas also said in the release that higher enrollment from his legislation would spur economic activity at and around the universities.

Editor's note: This story has been modified to correct the area of the state that Rep. Greg Lucas represents.

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