The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education voted Wednesday to freeze tuition for just the second time in the organization’s 36-year history.
Basic tuition for in-state undergraduate students at the system’s 14 universities will remain at $7,716 for the 2019-20 academic year.
Nearly 100,000 students attend a state system university, making it the largest producer of bachelor’s degrees in the Commonwealth. Nearly 90 percent of the student body resides in Pennsylvania, and 72 percent of graduates find work in the Commonwealth within two years of earning their degree.
“Students and parents of students are looking for us to lead, and on their behalf, we’ve made the right choice,” said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. “Our mission is clear. These universities exist so that Pennsylvanians across all income levels can access quality higher education, and by holding the line on tuition, we are living up to that mission.”
Eleven member of the Board of Governors voted unanimously in favor of the tuition freeze. The last time the Board of Governors held the line on tuition was 1998-99.
“We need to be bold, and we need to keep students at the center of everything we do, so I want to thank the Board for leading the way on tuition,” State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein said. “They took a look at how tuition for more than 20 years has steadily risen, and they said, ‘Enough.’ Students across Pennsylvania are counting on us to provide high-quality, affordable higher education that will lift up their careers and prepare them for the future.”
Next year, as part of its ongoing redesign efforts, the State System will for the first time permit individual universities to set multi-year tuition strategies, subject to Board approval. This unprecedented measure, approved by the Board in April, will result in public universities improving their competitiveness and affordability.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education comprises 14 public universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia. It is the largest degree-issuing higher education institution in Pennsylvania.