Board of Trustees adopts no base tuition increase for Pa. undergraduates

July 17, 2015

MONACA, Pa. – After careful deliberation and consideration, and as part of Penn State’s ongoing commitment to control the cost of a degree, the University’s Board of Trustees on July 17 passed an amended tuition and fees schedule that will see no base tuition increase for undergraduate students at all Penn State campuses, including University Park, for the 2015-16 academic year. This is down from an initially proposed 1.99 percent aggregate increase recommended yesterday by the Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning. This represents the first time in 49 years that tuition has been held steady for undergraduate students from one year to the next.

“At the very core of Penn State’s land-grant mission is a commitment to the people of the Commonwealth,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “After additional conversation among members of my administration and members of the board, Penn State’s leadership has decided to move ahead with no base tuition increase for all in-state undergraduate students at Penn State for the coming academic year. As the cost of a public university degree continues to rise nationwide in the face of stagnant and declining state support, it is incumbent upon us to do all that we can to keep a Penn State degree within reach of every qualified Pennsylvanian.”

Barron continues to focus on a holistic approach to controlling the cost of a degree, enacting new programs that focus on student retention, decreasing the rate of student borrowing, and providing the necessary resources to ensure every student’s timely graduation. Keeping tuition low or flat is among the highest priorities, Barron said.

Under the newly adopted plan, which will be available shortly at, undergraduate students who are Pennsylvania residents will see no tuition increase for the coming academic year. Non-resident students at Penn State’s undergraduate Commonwealth Campuses will see a tuition increase of zero to 2.4 percent. At University Park, non-resident students will see an increase of 2.99 percent. These increases remain the same as those proposed originally.

With the new plan in place, anticipated cost increases for full-time, lower-division undergraduate students living on the University Park campus will be held to a minimum. From last year to this:

-- Tuition will remain level, at $8,286 per semester.

-- Fees will increase nominally, by $6 per semester, to $465 per semester, including a freeze on the information technology fee, the first time in 20 years that this fee will be held flat, marking the beginning of the planned phase-out of the fee as budget conditions allow.

-- For an undergraduate student living on campus at University Park, per semester room and board rates will rise mildly, by $190, from $4,885 to $5,075 per semester, as approved by the Board in March. This increase will support expected increases in the price of food, utilities, payroll and property expenses.

Penn State has yet to identify the source of the estimated $17 million required to hold the line on tuition for the coming academic year. That is in addition to the $34.4 million in cost savings already advanced by this year’s operating budget.

“Penn State is committed to doing all it can to provide a world-class education for citizens of the Commonwealth at the lowest possible cost,” Barron said. “As my team works to address this budget adjustment in the coming weeks, we will remain keenly focused on ensuring Penn State remains among the top universities in the world.”

To review Barron's presentation to the board on the 2015-16 budget, and tuition and fees schedule, visit

Last Updated July 23, 2015