State school system raises college tuition 3 percent

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Undergraduate students who attend California University of Pennsylvania and the other 13 state-run schools will have a little less spending money in their pockets next semester.


The Pennsylvania System of Higher Education is raising tuition for the institutions, meaning students will pay an additional $198 this upcoming school year.


The 3 percent increase was approved Tuesday by the state system’s Board of Governors and will raise the annual tuition costs for full-time undergraduate students who are Pennsylvania residents to $6,820 for the 2014-15 academic year.


The increase matches the projected rate of inflation and is the eighth time in the past decade the state system has aligned the costs to inflation, State System of Higher Education spokesman Kenn Marshall said. He said about 90 percent of state system students are Pennsylvania residents and about 85 percent attend their schools full time.


California University of Pennsylvania President Geraldine M. Jones did not think the increase would be overly burdensome to students and their families, and praised state system officials for holding it close to projected inflation.


“I understand the financial pressures faced by our Cal U. students and their families, so I’m pleased that the PASSHE Board of Governors has approved a 2014-2015 tuition rate that includes only a modest increase,” Jones said. “A degree from California University of Pennsylvania remains a sound investment. Our graduates go on to achieve success in many different fields, and their accomplishments speak volumes about the value of a Cal U. education.”


Board of Governors Chairman Guido Pichini echoed that sentiment and said funding cuts from the state in recent years have forced the universities to control spending. He estimated the schools still must cut about $30 million from their operations to balance their overall budgets.


“Our university leadership, especially our presidents, should be commended for the tremendous work they have done to contain their institutions’ costs and to become even more efficient in their operations during these challenging times,” Pichini said.


Slippery Rock, Edinboro, Indiana, Clarion, Shippensburg, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Bloomsburg, Millersville, Kutztown, West Chester, East Stroudsburg and Cheyney universities also are under the state system.


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