Tuition Keeps Going Up
By Brittany Corl
UNIVERSITY PARK-Tuition keeps going up. In my previous blog, I discussed how Penn State University was number one in the highest in-state tuition for a public university. And for this school year, it won't be any different.
Penn State announced on July 15 their tuition prices for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Depending on your undergraduate ranking and which college you go to, as well as which campus you attend, in-state tuition can range from $15,124 to $19,524.
Tuition at the university is going up an average of 3.8 percent, but in-state students will see a 4.9 percent increase. Out-of-state tuition will go up 2.9 or 3.5 percent, depending on which campus they attend. On July 16, the board of trustees at the university approved the 4.1 billion dollar budget.
In reality, in-state freshmen and sophomores will see an additional 356 dollars tacked on to their bill for the 2011-2012 school year, pending they attend the University Park campus (main campus).
While the university has consistently raised tuition each year, this year is a bit beyond their control. Pennsylvania cut some of the budget for 2011-2012 higher education spending-a cut of 19 percent. The state is trying to control its budget deficit. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is cutting education spending in state-owned and funded four-year colleges by 50 percent. Not to mention in local school districts as well, totaling in all a $1.5 billion cut in the education sector. The reduction in spending also forced the University of Pittsburgh to raise their tuition a whopping 8.5 percent. The State System of Higher Education also raised tuition to the tune of 7.5 percent.
Penn State has said they are making a 2 percent cut across the board at their university. According to the university's news site (live.psu.edu), the university has been making cuts in the past three months. The site lists that the university has had both cuts and internal savings totaling nearly $30 million.
The university has tried to save money through "changes to health care benefits, energy savings, cut backs on funds aimed at new programs, as well as the elimination of a salary increase for faculty and staff."
In addition to tuition increasing, so do all the fees tacked on. That includes an $8 information technology fee, $3-4 increase in student activity fee and a $2-4increase in facilities fee.
So tuition is increasing. You may be asking why that affects you.
- You are a student who, if not graduating soon, will see a similar tuition hike next year, especially with the given economy.
- Once you get a job, your bills will be coming in bigger and sooner than you expected.
- There will be less money to go around to divide into scholarships, grants, and loans-making paying for college even harder
As a student body, there are many things we can do to help deter costs. At many colleges students are often seen protesting the tuition increases, hoping the universities will realize that students don't want to pay more than they already are. If you attend a college like Penn State, going to their lower-costing campuses can help deter high-tuition prices. You could also switch to a less expensive university. Lastly, take advantage now of opportunities such as discounts, scholarships, and grants to help pay for college and lessen the burden in the years to come.
There is an endless list of options you can do, finding the right one for you is up to you.