Inflation pushes Pennsylvania universities to raise tuition

A period of a pandemic tuition freeze has mostly thawed at universities in Pennsylvania.

What is happening: Temple and Penn State, two of Pennsylvania’s partially private colleges, both recently announced tuition hikes for the upcoming school year, joining a chorus of institutions blaming inflation for being a major drivers of rising education costs.

Why is this important: This makes the already exorbitant cost of higher education even more expensive.

Driving the news: Penn State University announced last week that it was increasing undergraduate tuition by 5% at its University Park campus and 2% at Commonwealth campuses.

  • Penn State had also increased undergraduate tuition for the past academic year after three straight years of a tuition freeze.

Temple University The board voted this month to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students by 3.9% for the 2022-23 school year.

  • It follows a hike last year after the university froze tuition fees in 2020.

The context: The announcements come after several private schools, like the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova, announced spring tuition hikes for the upcoming academic year.

The big picture: College enrollment has been declining across the country for nearly a decade, but the pandemic is accelerating the trend, Axios’ Erin Doherty writes. And rising costs and interest rates on student loans could turn away more students, CNBC reports.

State of play: Pennsylvania’s higher education system froze tuition at its state universities for the fourth straight year after the system received a significant boost in state funding, the Inquirer reports.

  • But Pennsylvania’s four partially private colleges — Temple, Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University (the latter two are also raising tuition this fall) — didn’t get a credit increase from the college. state this year.

Between the lines: State House Republicans had attempted to completely freeze state appropriations for the four universities, especially Pitt, during recent budget negotiations in an effort to ban research that uses “fetal tissue obtained from elective abortion”.

  • Lawmakers eventually removed the proposed ban from the financing plan, adding it instead to broadband legislation that has since stalled.

And after: Governor Tom Wolf plans to send a one-time $40 million in federal pandemic funding to be split among Penn State, Temple, Pitt and Lincoln University, Spotlight PA reports.

What they say : Penn State Administrator Brandon Short said in a meeting on Friday, “I understand people are struggling to make ends meet…and I feel their pain because we’re all feeling it, but if we continue to cut, it will have a negative effect on the quality of a Penn State education,” according to Trib Live.

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