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June 28, 2012

Pitt tuition, fees 2nd highest among publics

For the second straight year Pitt’s tuition and fees made it the second most expensive four-year public university in the nation, a national survey showed.

The College Affordability and Transparency Center lists were published last year for the first time to fulfill a federal reporting requirement passed into law in 2008. The lists track tuition and fees, as well as the average net price at public, private and for-profit colleges and universities. The lists are generated using data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, also known as IPEDS.

Pitt’s 2010-11 tuition and required fees totaling $14,936 for in-state students on the Pittsburgh campus was second only to Penn State’s main campus tuition/fees of $15,250 among all public universities, according to this year’s U.S. Department of Education survey released this month.

Both schools charged more than double the $6,669 national average of public universities.

Pitt also is among the nation’s costliest institutions among the publics in terms of net price for its Pittsburgh-campus in-state students, listed as fifth nationally behind the University of Guam, Miami University-Oxford, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Penn State.

Data gathered for the net price are from the 2009-10 academic year, the survey authors said.

Pitt’s average net price in 2009-10 for full-time Pittsburgh-campus beginning undergraduates who received grant or scholarship aid from federal, state or local governments or the institution was $18,935, compared to the national average of $10,471. About 48 percent of such students at Pitt receive grant aid of some type.

According to the survey, average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. Total cost of attendance is the sum of  tuition and required fees, books and supplies, as well as the weighted average for room and board and other expenses.

Because of a tuition differential, Pitt’s four-year regional campuses do not appear in the survey, which lists the top 33, or 5 percent, most and least expensive institutions in each category.

Among public two-year schools, Pitt-Titusville was second nationally on the list of highest-tuition at $10,722, roughly four times the national average of $2,721. The highest-tuition institution was Michigan Career and Technical Institute at $16,200.

However, UPT dropped to 19th nationally for net pricing at $13,573, with 97 percent of its students receiving grant aid. The national average net price for two-year institutions was $6,485.

The survey results are posted at

—Peter Hart

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