Penn State to vote on tuition hike today

Penn State trustees are expected to approve tuition increases averaging 2.73 percent today, with a slighter higher jump at University Park and a smaller rise in Altoona.

The trustees’ Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning approved the tuition plan Thursday.

Penn State noted in a release the percentage increase was the second lowest since 1967 and is slightly below last year’s 2.76 percent aggregate boost.

For lower-division and most upper-division Pennsylvania residents attending the University Park campus, the tuition increase will be 2.99 percent, or $241 per semester.

At all undergraduate campuses, upper-division rates apply to students who have accumulated 59.1 credits or more.

Upper-division Pennsylvania students studying business and science, earth and mineral sciences, engineering, and information sciences and technology, or STEM fields, will see an increase of 5.16 percent, or $475 per semester, the university said.

At Penn State Altoona as well as at Abington, Berks, Erie and Harrisburg, lower-division Pennsylvania and nonresident students face an increase of 2.40 percent, or $153 to $245 per semester, depending on field of study and any additional course-related fees required. Upper-division undergraduates will see tuition increases from 2.40 percent to 5.13 percent, (or $165 to $385), depending on state of residency, field of study and associated fees.

Penn State Altoona Chancellor Lori Bechtel-Wherry said the Altoona campus has no control over tuition rates. But she said the campus’ seven-year fundraising campaign that ended June 30 generated $6 million for Altoona campus student scholarships.

She said the scholarships will ensure “access and affordability” for Penn State Altoona campus education.

Of the tuition raise approved by the university trustees, she said: “I was happy to hear (the raise) will be as low as possible.”

Increases at other Penn State campuses for undergraduate Pennsylvania residents are:

– Beaver, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Mont Alto, New Kensington and Wilkes-Barre: a 1.20 percent increase ($75 per semester), for undergraduate students with no increases for upper-division undergraduate students at these campuses studying business, science, earth and mineral sciences, engineering and information sciences and technology.

– Brandywine, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Worthington, Scranton and York: a 2.40 percent increase, ($153 per semester) with no rise for upper-division undergraduate students studying business and STEM fields.

– Shenango: no change.