PASSHE opens door to new tuition models

Last Thursday The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) approved new flexible pricing plans for tuition at Clarion and Millersville Universities. The new plans will provide universities within the PASSHE system greater flexibility in a number of operational areas.

“About a year ago, the board had a study conducted on the feasibility of allowing the universities to charge different tuition rates based on such factors as enrollment demand, student mix (full-time/part-time, etc.), and program cost,” said Kenn Marshall, the Media Relations Manager of PASSHE.

“For example, all undergraduate, Pennsylvania resident students currently pay the same tuition rate. There have been some differences in what the universities charge nonresident students from certain states and in certain programs for a number of years.”

Various universities within the state are now allowed to submit proposals to adjust their tuition rates and other fees charged to students within two-year pilots.

The prospective universities’ council of trustees must approve these plans before anything can be implemented within the university.

These two-year pilots are evaluation plans that will look into how effective tuition plans that are proposed will actually be.

If the plans are successful they could be permanently implemented or even duplicated at other universities.

“Millersville University will reduce tuition by 10 percent to students who take classes at the PASSHE Center City facility in Philadelphia. The university will begin offering classes at the site this summer,” Marshall said.

This is just one example of how universities are making changes to their tuition programs throughout the state.

According to Marshall other changes are being made to accommodate active military members who are taking classes online.

These new tuition changes would be altered to accommodate their spouses and any dependents. Pennsylvania law governs that PASSHE and the Board of Governors is responsible for setting tuitions rates for all 14 universities within the system.

“In the past that has meant that for most students, the tuition rate has been the same. For example, all undergraduate, Pennsylvania resident students currently pay the same tuition rate,” Marshall said.

The study found that there was flexibility within the system to allow for universities to begin implementing their own agendas for tuition costs. After this was discovered the board allowed proposals to begin.

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