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July 25, 2013

Tuition: blended increase of 2.9%

Tuition for students on the University’s Pittsburgh campus will rise 3.25 percent for the 2013-14 academic year as part of a University-wide blended tuition increase of 2.9 percent.

The Board of Trustees executive committee set the new tuition rates July 17 as part of the University’s $1.94 billion fiscal year 2014 operating budget.

Pittsburgh campus tuition increases

In-state undergraduates in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences will see tuition rise by $255 per semester while out-of-state undergraduates will see a $413 per-semester increase.

Full-time undergraduate tuition for the new academic year will be $16,240 for Pennsylvania residents and $26,246 for out-of-state students in the Dietrich school.

Graduate tuition also will increase 3.25 percent to $19,964 for the year for in-state students and $32,686 for out-of-state students in the Dietrich school.

Students in Pitt’s medical school will see the highest increase, a 5 percent tuition hike. Tuition will rise to $46,962 for in-state medical students and to $48,138 for out-of-state students.

Arthur G. Ramicone, Pitt’s chief financial officer, explained: “This higher increase is the result of the fact that the School of Medicine is still working to recover from the 50 percent reduction to its state support that was imposed three years ago.” (See July 7, 2011, University Times.)

Regional campus tuition

Students on Pitt’s regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses will see a 2 percent increase, with annual tuition rising to $12,208 for in-state students (an increase of $119 per semester) and $22,812 for out-of-state students (an increase of $223 per semester) in arts and sciences programs on those campuses.

Tuition will be frozen at Pitt-Titusville, where in-state tuition will remain at $10,544 and at $19,918 for out-of-state students in arts and sciences programs.

Low tuition increases statewide

Pitt and Penn State have ranked at the top of the list for the highest in-state tuition among public universities.

U.S. Department of Education figures show both schools were well above the national average of $7,135 for the 2011-12 academic year, the most recent comparison available.

The Pittsburgh campus ranked No. 1 at $16,132, with Penn State’s main campus a close second at $15,984.

The Department of Education’s college cost comparisons can be found at

In conjunction with Gov. Tom Corbett’s pledge not to cut funding for higher education in his FY14 state budget, leaders of the four state-related and 14 state-owned schools committed to holding down tuition increases for the coming academic year.

“The primary driver of this year’s internal budget discussions were investing in quality improvement initiatives while also maintaining low tuition increases,” Ramicone said.

“We were able to focus solely on the internal budget matters this year instead of warding off proposed commonwealth appropriation reductions when Gov. Corbett and legislative leaders made a commitment in February to maintain the basic appropriation for our academic programs.” (See Feb. 7 University Times.)

He noted this year’s tuition increases are the second-lowest since 1975.

However, Ramicone said, “Another year of flat funding takes us back to 1995 in nominal dollars in commonwealth support, which makes low tuition increases a little challenging. By our calculation, the Consumer Price Index and the Higher Education Price Index have increased by 53 percent and 77 percent respectively since the mid-1990s.”

An additional concern in formulating the University budget was the fact that Pennsylvania is graduating fewer high school students. Ramicone said the unfavorable demographics did not negatively impact Pitt’s 2014 enrollment, adding that undergraduate applications from Pennsylvania residents increased 13 percent while applications to the University rose 16 percent overall.


Pitt’s tuition increases aligned with those announced at other state-related and state-owned schools.

  • Earlier this month the State System of Higher Education’s board of governors approved a 3 percent increase ($194 per year) for Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities.Tuition for full-time, resident undergraduate students will be $3,311 per semester, or $6,622 for the full academic year.
  • Last week, Penn State announced a 2.76 percent aggregate increase, which Penn State officials stated is the second-lowest tuition increase since 1967.It raised tuition at its University Park campus $264 per semester, or 3.39 percent, for freshman and sophomore in-state students and $400 per semester, or 2.87 percent, for their out-of-state counterparts.Annual tuition for freshmen and sophomores at the main campus will be $16,090 for in-state students and $28,664 for out-of-state students.Tuition increases on Penn State’s 19 branch campuses ranged from no increase at the Shenango campus to 2.45 percent  ($160 per semester) for in-state students at the Altoona, Berks, Erie and Harrisburg campuses.Penn State’s in-state tuition is increasing 1.85 percent  ($116 per semester) on seven other branch campuses and 0.75 percent ($47 per semester) on another seven branch campuses.
  • Temple University’s trustees in June approved a tuition increase averaging 2.8 percent for undergraduates. Tuition will rise to $13,406 per year (up $400) for in-state students and to $23,432 (up $600 per year) for out-of-state students.
  • Lincoln University trustees in March raised undergraduate tuition 2.2 percent to $7,018 for the upcoming academic year.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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