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July 9, 2015

Pitt takes most expensive public school honors again

Pitt and Penn State again had the highest in-state tuition among the nation’s public four-year-or-above institutions.

A U.S. Department of Education ranking for 2013-14, released July 1, placed the University’s Pittsburgh campus well above the national average of $7,617 for the sector.

Pitt ranked No. 1, with tuition and required fees totaling $17,100. Penn State’s main campus was close behind, ranking No. 2 with tuition and fees totaling $16,992.

Rounding out the top five were the University of New Hampshire main campus, $16,496; Colorado School of Mines, $16,485, and the University of Vermont, $15,718.

Half of the 34 public four-year-or-above campuses with tuition costs in the top 5 percent were Pennsylvania state-related campuses. In addition to Pitt and Penn State, Temple ranked No. 17 at $13,596. Thirteen Penn State branch campuses and the Penn State-affiliated Pennsylvania College of Technology also made the list.


On Pitt’s four-year regional campuses, in-state tuition was $13,078 at Pitt-Bradford; $13,128 at Pitt-Greensburg, and $13,130 at Pitt-Johnstown.

Pitt-Titusville, where in-state tuition and fees totaled $11,324 in 2013-14, had the highest tuition among public two-year schools. The national average was $3,141.


Ken Service, vice chancellor for communications, told the University Times: “Pitt being at the top of this list, along with Penn State, reflects the fact that Pennsylvania provides substantially less support for public higher education than other states, which results in more of the cost being passed on to students and their families.

“But the cost of tuition does not tell the whole story. For the past 10 years, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked Pitt as the top value among all public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. Pitt also was the only Pennsylvania public college or university included in The Princeton Review-USA TODAY national ‘Best Value Colleges for 2014’ list, based on academic quality, cost and financial aid,” he said.

“One indication that this value is recognized can be found in the fact that applications for fall 2015 admissions remain strong, with more than 30,600 students competing for approximately 4,000 spaces on the Pittsburgh campus,” Service said.

Highest net prices

Among public four-year-or-above institutions with the highest net prices in 2012-13, the University’s Pittsburgh campus ranked No. 4 with $22,341. Net price represents the total cost of attendance for in-state students (tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board and other expenses) minus the average amount of grant and scholarship aid.

At the top in terms of net price was Miami University-Oxford, $24,247. No. 2 was Colorado School of Mines, $23,759; Penn State was No. 3, $23,161.

At No. 5 was New Hampshire with a net price of $21,545.
The national average net price for public four-year-or-above institutions was $11,877.


The 2012-13 average net price at Pitt-Bradford was $15,613; at Pitt-Greensburg, $15,654, and at Pitt-Johnstown, $17,217.
Among public two-year schools, Pitt-Titusville ranked No. 12 with a net price of $15,660. The national average was $7,316.


Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education posts updated information on tuition and net price by July 1 on its College Affordability and Transparency Center site at

Based on Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data, the most recent annual report lists institutions, by sector, in the highest and lowest 5 percent in tuition and required fees for 2013-14, and the highest and lowest in net price for 2012-13, as well as the institutions with the highest increases in those categories.

—Kimberly K. Barlow  

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