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Pennsylvania

PSU president advocates tuition freeze

Deb Erdley
ptrcaptiol3
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
The Pennsylvania State Capitol on Nov. 19, 2015, seen from State St. in Harrisburg.

Students at some of Pennsylvania’s state-owned and state-related universities could get a tuition break this fall, courtesy of the new state budget.

Penn State President Eric Barron announced he will ask university trustees to freeze tuition at the 2017-18 rates, following a 3 percent increase in state subsidies to the university in the new state budget. His recommendation, if approved, would mark the second tuition freeze at University Park in the last 50 years.

It’s unclear whether the University of Pittsburgh and the 14 state-owned schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education — which received comparable increases in the state budget — will follow suit when their oversight boards meet this month.

Pitt officials did not immediately return calls for comment.

A spokesman for the State System said the university system faces a $50 million budget deficit despite the increase in state subsidies.

Pitt and Penn State often rank first and second among the highest priced public universities in the nation. The lowest undergraduate in-state tuition at Pitts’s Oakland campus was $18,130 this year. The comparable figure at Penn State’s University Park campus was $17,146.

In a statement on the Penn State website , Barron said he’ll ask trustees to freeze tuition for in-state students at all campuses this fall. The university previously has frozen tuition several times at some of its branch campuses.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or [email protected] or via Twitter @deberdley_trib

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