LEHMAN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- Some tough decisions were brought before Penn State University board members Friday in Lehman, including the 2016-2017 budget. The board voted for a tuition increase for students. The increase comes after a tuition freeze for in-state students last year. That forced the university to cut millions of dollars from the budget
“It was a decision that was made to keep prices as low as possible. And that is the goal again this year. We want to make sure that prices are as low as possible, while we maintain the quality of a Penn State degree,” said Reidar Jensen, a Penn State University spokesperson.
The budget calls for a 1.76 percent aggregate increase for in-state students. At the university’s main campus, resident students are expected to see an increase of 2.29 percent, or pay an additional $190 per semester. Out-of-state students will see an aggregate increase of 3.17 percent.
“There are also eight Penn State University campuses that won’t see an increase this year,” said Jensen.
That includes the Wilkes-Barre campus. In-state students there will not be impacted, but out-of-state students will. Like many institutions, Penn State must address increasing costs, including employee health care and retirement benefits. One student we spoke with says he wishes the university had an alternative solution to the tuition hike.
“Tuition increase is just more obstacles for students to overcome as if there aren’t enough already,” said Brandon Laverne.
But officials say the in-state tuition increase is among the lowest in 50 years.