By SUSAN JONES
In-state students at all of Pitt’s campuses will be the beneficiaries of the extra $7.57 million the University received from the state as part of a deal negotiated between Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leadership on the distribution of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.
Pitt announced Aug. 24 that in-state undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at least half time will receive grants of approximately $350 from the one-time state allocation of COVID-19 relief money. All of the $7.57 million will go to the students.
The funds are part of a $40 million pot of money that the state legislature appropriated to the governor’s office for “pandemic response,” according to a 2022-23 budget summary released by House Democrats.
Nearly $30 million of that money was allocated to the four state-related universities, which also include Temple, Penn State and Lincoln. These allocations fulfill Wolf’s plan to increase funding to the state-related schools by 5 percent this year. The general budget approved by the legislature kept funding flat for all four schools. Before the ARPA money, Pitt’s funding was at $151.5 million, the same it has been since 2019.
The final dollar amount the more than 20,000 in-state students will receive will be determined based on enrollment numbers after the add/drop period ends on Sept. 9.
In late September, eligible in-state students will receive an email informing them when the grant amount has posted to their account in PittPAY. The money will be refunded directly to the bank account students have designated on the eRefunds tab. Students are reminded to confirm they have designated an active and valid bank account.
“We remain grateful for the support of the legislature and Governor Wolf for preserving both the University’s longstanding partnership with the commonwealth and the in-state tuition rate that our partnership supports,” David Brown, vice chancellor of government relations and advocacy, said in a news release.
Pitt also received $167,000 in state funding to support rural education outreach. This funding will be go to Pitt–Bradford to deliver educational services to the most rural populations in Pennsylvania.
State funding for Pitt was a hot-button issue in the legislature this year, with several conservative lawmakers seeking to force Pitt to stop any research involving fetal tissue in order to receive the funds. None of the state money goes toward this or any other research. All that money is used to lower tuition for in-state students.
Pitt’s budget for this year includes increases for tuition, housing and dining. On the Oakland campus, tuition will increase by 3.5 percent for in-state undergraduate and all graduate students and 5.5 percent for out-of-state undergraduates. There are a few exceptions. All undergrads in the School of Computing and Information will see an additional 2 percent increase, and all undergraduate students — in-state and out-of-state — in the Swanson School of Engineering will see a rate increase of 3.5 percent.
On the regional campuses, tuition will increase by 2 percent for both in-state and out-of-state students.
On-campus housing costs will increase by 4.6 to 4.9 percent on the Oakland campus and between 5 and 6 percent on the regional campuses. Dining costs will rise by 4 to 5 percent on all campuses.
This comes on top of increases in student wellness and recreation fees announced earlier this summer for the Oakland, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
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