On June 20, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors approved a $107.6 million operating budget and a tuition increase of 3.85 percent for 2014-15.
When tuition and fees are combined, the increases for 2014-15 are 3.41 percent for Pennsylvania residents and 3.54 percent for out-of-state students.
The $107,564,900 operating budget represents a $3.2 million (3.07 percent) increase over the current budget. It includes no increase in the college’s 2013-14 state appropriation of $15,584,000. The total budget will rise by $3.24 million (2.2 percent) to $150,927,800 in 2014-15.
State appropriations account for 14.5 percent of the college’s 2014-15 operating budget and 10.3 percent of the total budget.
The college’s revenue-generating auxiliary fund budgets total $27.3 million for 2014-15. The restricted current fund budget is $16 million. That budget includes grants, contracts and restricted donations for which outside entities (such as governmental agencies) direct the use of the money.
“This was a challenging year, but with cooperation from staff college wide, our tuition increase is the smallest since 2011-12,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “We recognize the impact tuition has on students and their families. We do our best – in the face of ever-increasing fixed costs – to keep tuition and fees as low as possible as we continue to provide the hands-on educational programs for which we are renowned statewide and beyond.”
Penn College, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, receives no direct funding from the University and establishes its own rates for tuition and fees, which constitute the bulk of its revenues.
Annual costs for Penn College students are based upon per-credit-hour fees; the number of credits for which a student is registered determines the actual cost.
For Pennsylvania residents, tuition and fees in 2014-15 will be $515 per credit hour, an increase of $17 per credit over the current year. In-state students account for 88 percent of the college’s total enrollment.
A full-time, in-state student enrolled for the typical two 15-credit semesters in 2014-15 will pay $15,450 in tuition and fees, an increase of $510 over 2013-14.
Tuition and fees for an out-of-state Penn College student will increase $25 per credit – to $731 per credit hour – in 2014-15.
A full-time, out-of-state student enrolled for two 15-credit semesters in 2014-15 will pay a total of $21,930 in tuition and fees, an increase of $750 over 2013-14.
Dining Services and Residence Life have established modest increases for the 2014-15 academic year. Meal plans will increase an average of 1.5 percent; housing rates will rise by approximately 2 percent.
Approximately $88.2 million in financial aid – from a variety of federal, state and local sources – was awarded to more than 80 percent of all Penn College students in the most recent year for which data is available.
Employee benefits will rise by 8.25 percent overall in 2014-15, attributable mostly to costs for health insurance and state retirement plans.
Four staff positions were eliminated from the 2014-15 budget, generating savings of $330,000 in salaries and benefits. A decrease in grant funding resulted in a reduction of two of the positions in the National Sustainable Structures Center area of Workforce Development & Continuing Education, and single positions were eliminated in Student Affairs (Fitness Center) and Academic Affairs (Academic Success Center).
“We had to make some difficult choices in budgeting for the 2014-15 academic year,” Gilmour said. “While it is never an easy decision to eliminate staff positions, we have a financial obligation to keep the cost of a college education as low as possible without impacting instruction. We will continue to assess our processes and operations as we carry out our unique educational mission.”
The 2014-15 budget includes gifts of $100,000 to the City of Williamsport and $35,000 to the Williamsport Area School District. These voluntary contributions are re-evaluated annually.
Fall 2014 enrollment is budgeted to increase by 1.25 percent.
The state Legislature has not yet passed its 2014-15 budget. At a meeting in April, the Penn College Board of Directors authorized the college to continue operating at 2013-14 adjusted budget levels until a 2014-15 state budget is passed and signed into law.