Tuition to be set this week for Pa. state universities

Millersville University is one of 14 state-run universities in Pennsylvania. (File photo)

Millersville University is one of 14 state-run universities in Pennsylvania. (File photo) – Amy Spangler

Tuition has gone up at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-run universities each year for the last 20 years.

Will they get a break this year thanks to the 2 percent increase in funding from the state budget, or will increasing costs lead to another hike?

A decision is expected later this week.

The Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will be meeting over two days this week to decide on a number of issues, including setting tuition rates for the 2019-2020 school year.

Dave Pidgeon, director of public relations for the state system, said the 20-member board will have a number of options before it when it begins meeting Wednesday.

“There is a lot of downward and upward pressure,” Pidgeon said. “The cost of providing education is on the rise.”

He said the 2 percent increase in the state budget was a welcome help, but couldn’t say if it would be enough to hold the line on tuition, which stood at $7,716 for a full-time student for the 2018-2019 school year.

“Pennsylvania is still near the bottom when it comes to public investment in higher education,” he said.

He said as state-run schools, there is an imperative to keep tuition affordable.

“They’re going to have to talk about it,” Pidgeon said of the board, noting that no decisions have been made.

A vote is expected Thursday on the 2019-2020 tuition rates.

The state system includes Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities. They enroll more than 100,000 degree-seeking students, with thousands more enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs.

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