APSCUF President comments on tuition hike at State System Schools

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APSCUF

Today the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) Board of Governors approved a 3 percent – $194 – tuition increase for the 2013-14 academic year. Resident undergraduate tuition will rise from $6,428 to $6,622. The board also voted to increase the student technology fee by $10 to $368 per year.

Dr. Steve Hicks, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), offered remarks at today’s meeting. He noted that the board must act responsibly to balance the universities’ budgetary needs with the financial strain on students and their families.

“Even a modest tuition increase can affect the ability of our students to afford college, but the board’s action still leaves a budget gap of over $50 million for the State System,” Hicks stated. “Several universities are already struggling to balance their books.”

Members of the Board of Governors indicated that the universities would have to make adjustments at the campus level to handle the budget shortfall.

“While it is important to keep tuition as low as possible, we also have made a commitment to our students to continue to provide the high-quality education that they expect and deserve from our institutions,” Hicks said. “We must ensure that the state-owned universities have the resources necessary to support student instruction.”

The Board of Governors meeting comes one week after Governor Corbett signed a state budget that included level funding for the State System. The state appropriation currently provides just 25 percent of PASSHE’s budget.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents more than 6,000 faculty members and coaches at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities.