Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

PSU pres. proposes tuition freeze

Penn State pres. proposes tuition freeze at Senate hearing - if university receives hike in state funding proposed by Gov. Wolf

In-state students at Pennsylvania State University would face no tuition increase next year if Gov. Wolf's proposed hike in state funding passes.

Penn State President Eric Barron on Tuesday pledged the tuition freeze in remarks at the state Senate Appropriations hearing. The freeze would cover students on all Penn State campuses.

It would be the first time for a tuition freeze since 1967-68, according to the university.

"He has been running aggressive analyses to see what he can do to provide tuition relief as part of his overall access and affordability initiative," said Penn State spokesman Lawrence Lokman. "…He is focused on this issue like a hawk, and his analyses continue."

Gov. Wolf has asked Penn State and the other three state-related universities – Temple, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln - to keep tuition increases low in return for a boost in state funding, the first in several years. Penn State is in line to receive about $50 million more under Wolf's proposal.

Temple President Neil D. Theolbald told the committee he would keep the tuition increase at cost of living or less if the Wolf funding boost is approved, said Temple spokesman Ray Betzner.

At the Penn State board of trustees meeting on Friday, Barron said he would provide some tuition relief if the university received more than it had requested from the state. His statements to the Senate committee on Tuesday go further than that.

Trustees approved a 3.89 percent increase in room and board costs for students last week, but only after Barron pledged to try to provide some type of tuition relief. John Hanger, Wolf's non-voting representative to the board, objected to the increase and said the university should not exceed a cost of living raise.

Under the approved increase, students will pay $10,150 in room and board next year for a standard double room and the most common meal plan, an increase of $380.

For the current year, in-state freshmen and sophomores in most majors paid more than $27,200 in tuition, fees and room and board, with upperclassmen paying more.

A committee of trustees last Thursday voted to urge the president to try and freeze tuition, though that proposal wasn't voted on by the full board on Friday.