Friday, July 16, 2010

Pitt Tuition Up 5.5%

The Board of the University of Pittsburgh has set an operating budget for the 2011 fiscal year of $1.89 billion dollars and increased tuition rates for nearly all students to cover the spending plan. Tuition increases will range from 2.5 percent for students at the University’s four regional campuses, to 3 percent for out-of-state students at the Pittsburgh campus, and to 5.5 percent for in-state students at the Pittsburgh campus. Tuition for an in-state main campus student in the school of arts and sciences will come in at $14,076. In a press release the university says the increase is needed to, “further advance the University’s position as an international center of pioneering research, and to sustain its long-standing tradition of public service initiatives.” At the same time, the budget includes $6 million in additional funding for financial aid, enhanced support for library acquisitions and new student life initiatives. Faculty and staff will see pay increases from a 3 percent salary increase pool. The salaries of University faculty and staff were frozen last year. University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg says, “Our annual benchmarking of peer institutions confirms that we have been losing ground on the salary front. To recruit and retain the caliber of employees whose work is essential to our continued success in attracting both the best possible students and the highest possible levels of research support required that we make a commitment to end our salary freeze and provide for at least modest salary increases this year.” Nordenberg says the university has been facing “intense budgetary challenges” and notes that several revenue streams have either fallen or have held steady at a time when costs continue to rise. He says, “Our three top priorities in structuring this budget were to maintain the high quality of our programs, to provide relief from the current salary freeze for the committed Pitt employees whose efforts have been central to our progress, and to keep tuition increases as moderate as possible.”

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