Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

July 23, 2015

Tuition set; Pitt budget delayed by state impasse

Tuition on the University’s Pittsburgh campus will rise 2.5 percent for in-state students and 2.9 percent for out-of-state students this fall while students on Pitt’s regional campuses will see no tuition increase in the 2015-16 academic year.

The Board of Trustees executive committee approved tuition rates despite a budget impasse in Harrisburg that prevented action on a full fiscal year 2016 operating budget for the University.

Following the July 17 committee meeting, Chancellor Patrick A. Gallagher said, “For the University of Pittsburgh, the state appropriation represents about 7 percent of the total revenue. Billing has to go out. The school year’s going to start irrespective of what’s happening in Harrisburg, so we really have no choice but to let families plan and to make that announcement now.”

Tuition at Pitt varies by school. For undergraduates in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, in-state tuition will rise to $17,292, an increase of $420. Out-of-state tuition will rise to $28,058, up $790.

Tuition for most majors at Pitt’s Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses remains at  $12,452 for in-state students and $23,268 for out-of-state students. At Pitt-Titusville, in-state tuition for students in programs other than nursing stays at $10,754; out-of-state tuition is $20,316.

Last week, state-related Temple University announced a 2.8 percent tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state students, while Penn State froze base tuition for in-state students on all campuses for the coming academic year. Out-of-state students at Penn State will see a 2.99 percent increase on the main campus, while tuition increases on Penn State’s regional campuses will range from 0 to 2.4 percent this fall.

Earlier this month, the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education approved a 3.5 percent tuition increase. The action sets base tuition at $7,060 for in-state students at the 14 state-system universities.


The Republican-dominated General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf remain at odds over key issues, delaying a state budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The University’s budget is not set until its state appropriation has been finalized, which isn’t done until the state budget has been passed. Some funding proposals in Harrisburg would hold flat Pitt’s $136.29 million appropriation; Wolf’s budget proposal recommended an 11 percent increase, to $151.21 million. (See June 25 University Times.)

Regarding the situation in Harrisburg, “I think everyone recognizes the dynamics: This is going to take a while,” Gallagher said.

“On the upside, even though everyone’s focused on the drawn-out process and the contentious side of this, with regard to the state-related universities we couldn’t be more pleased with the broad, bipartisan consensus that there has to be an increase.

“We’ve seen it both in the House and Senate and we’ve seen that not only with the governor’s request this year, but his commitment to look at restoration of state-related funding over the next several years,” the chancellor said.


While students can plan for the fall term, faculty and staff will be kept waiting on a salary pool announcement until the University finalizes a budget.

“We can’t announce the pay pools until we get to tackle the rest of the budget. So that will have to await action in Harrisburg,” Gallagher said. “We are committed to making sure our faculty remain competitive and our faculty and staff are treated fairly, and at the same time making sure that we’re prudent and fiscally responsible in balancing our costs. And of course, personnel costs are a big part of a university.”


The last lengthy budget impasse in Pennsylvania came in 2009, when the state went 101 days past its June 30 deadline. Although the budget was signed in October that year, non-preferred appropriations, including state funding for Pitt, were further delayed amid disagreement on table games legislation, putting the University’s monthly appropriation payment on hold in the interim.

Then-Gov. Edward G. Rendell finally signed the University’s FY10 appropriation on Dec. 17, 2009 — 168 days after the start of the 2010 fiscal year and two days after the University’s budget committee passed a contingent operating budget. (See

“We have learned from the past,” said Arthur G. Ramicone, senior vice chancellor and chief financial officer. “In terms of cash balances that we carry, we have added a cushion to take this kind of thing into consideration. This is just one of many contingencies that we plan for, with our cash balances and with our lines of credit with three banks. We can continue to operate for an extended period.”

—Kimberly K. Barlow       

Leave a Reply