Penn State's board of trustees today will consider voting to raise room and board rates 3.89 percent next year, but they also may ask the administration to try and freeze tuition.
The board's finance committee meeting in Hershey on Thursday gave a preliminary nod to the new room rates, which would have students in a standard double room with the most common meal plan, paying $5,075 per semester next year, up $190. That's $10,150 for the full year, up $380.
At the board's outreach, development and community relations committee later in the day, a trustee committee unanimously agreed to put forth before the full board on Friday a resolution that would urge the administration to explore the possibility of no tuition hike.
It would be the first time since 1967-68 that students would not pay a tuition increase.
Trustee Ted Brown said tuition costs are the second most common concern he hears about Penn State. The first, he said, centers on the late football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired by the board in the wake of the Jerrry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
"The motion was to ask the leadership to figure out a way that they can come to us in July with a zero increase across the board," Brown said, noting that Penn State is near the top nationally in tuition costs.
The university raised tuition by nearly 3 percent or $482 for the current year. In-state freshmen and sophomores in most majors are paying more than $27,200 in tuition, fees and room and board for the current year,
Gov. Wolf earlier this year asked Penn State and the other state-related universities to keep tuition increases low this year in light of his proposal to increase state aid to the schools. (He asked community colleges and the 14 universities in the state system to freeze tuition.)
Penn State's state allotment would go up by almost $50 million under the governor's proposal.