The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education today approved a $1.5 billion budget that includes a 4.5% tuition hike for resident undergrad students. That translates to an additional $250 and brings annual tuition up to $5,804 at all 14 state-owned universities.
State System spokesman Kenn Marshall says it's still the lowest rate among all 4-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania..."In order to meet our full budgetary needs, we would have had to go higher but the board was full cognizant of the (economic) situation facing Pennsylvania students and families."
Marshall says the tuition increase was needed because state appropriations have remained relatively flat for the last several years and rising costs for salaries, benefits and utilities. He says the board is also planning ahead for when the $38 million in federal stimulus funds goes away June 30th.
In addition, $9.5 million in spending cuts will be spread across the 14 universities. Marshall says whether that means maintenance projects delayed, layoffs or program cuts..is up to each university.
Marshall says 5 of the 14 universities...Indiana, Slippery Rock, Kutztown, Mansfield and Millersville have already indicated layoffs are likely in the next year and unless the lost stimulus funds are made up by a larger state appropriation "unfortunately there may have to be staff reductions probably at more than the 5 universities that have already announced them."