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April 15, 2021

Pennsylvania's state-owned universities freeze in-state tuition for third straight year

The decision was made to keep higher education affordable during the COVID-19 pandemic

Education Tuition
041521_pennsylvania_state_colleges_tuition_freeze.jpg Smallbones/Wikimedia Commons

In-state students at West Chester University (pictured) and other Pennsylvania state colleges will not see a tuition increase for the 2021-22 academic year.

Pennsylvania students attending one of the 14 state-owned universities full-time will not see a tuition increase for a third consecutive academic year.

Basic in-state tuition will remain at $7,716 for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, the State System of Higher Education's Board of Governors voted Thursday.

The state education agency's annual technology fee for students will also remain at $478 for the forthcoming school year.

This is the first time that the State System of Higher Education has frozen basic in-state tuition for three straight years, according to the agency. 

Board of Governors chairwoman Cindy Shapira said the decision was made to keep higher education affordable for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A quality education and an affordable one go hand-in-hand at our universities," Shapira said. "Students deserve our full support as they continue focusing on attaining a degree through the pandemic."

The State System of Higher Education's Board of Governors also signed off on a new strategy aimed at addressing diversity, equity and inclusion on its 14 campuses.

Among the approved initiatives include combating racial harassment and racist speech, recruiting and retaining students, faculty and staff of color, expanding mental health resources and diversifying the curriculum.

"We must continue to look at every aspect and in every corner of the system, from our academic programming to our student cohort to the campus cultures we cultivate," Chancellor Daniel Greenstein said. "We are the state’s public higher education system, and as such, every student and employee — regardless of background — must feel welcomed and their success supported. We will hold ourselves accountable and ask the public to hold us accountable for living up to our ideals and values."

The State System of Higher Education enrolls more than 93,000 students at its 14 universities. The agency's two schools in the Philly region are West Chester University and Cheyney University.

Nearly 90% of State System students are Pennsylvania residents, according to the agency.

The State System of Higher Education froze tuition at its 14 universities for the first time in more than two decades ahead of the 2019-20 academic year.

Several other colleges and universities in the Philly region have either frozen or cut tuition in order to financially assist students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those schools are the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Rowan University and Cabrini University.

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