The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) Board of Governors has voted to keep in-state tuition frozen for a third year in a row, according to an April 15 PASSHE press release.
The unanimous vote will keep in-state tuition at $7,716 for the 2021-22 academic year and the PASSHE student technology fee will stay at $487, the press release said.
“A quality education and an affordable one go hand-in-hand at our universities. Students deserve our full support as they continue focusing on attaining a degree through the pandemic,” board Chair Cindy Shapira said.
During the Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, the University Success Committee passed the motion to freeze tuition for an additional year.
University Success Committee chair Tom Muller said there was a tentative 1% increase in tuition which would be about $82 more for the average student. Officials ultimately decided against the increase to focus on what they believe is best for students.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Brad Roae (R-6th District) noted that the increase can be a lot of money for some students and may be a deciding factor in pursuing higher education.
“A 1% increase to get another 90 bucks — it’s just hard to believe that you can’t educate somebody for $20,000 but you can for $20,090,” Roae said of PASSHE students paying on average $20,000 a year in tuition and fees.
Board members agreed that the financial “burden” should not be pushed down to the students and some expressed concerns over where the funding will come from.
East Stroudsburg University Interim President Kenneth Long, Kutztown University President Kenneth Hawkinson and Shippensburg University President Laurie Carter explained to the board that there are “repercussions” to these choices.
While the leaders agreed that students should not foot the excess, officials have to understand that the money will come from somewhere else. They said this could be unwanted faculty or program cuts or decreased financial aid.