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Freeze on tuition at Pa. state colleges extended for a third year

Basic in-state tuition at Pennsylvania’s state colleges will remain frozen for the third consecutive year, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) announced. The agency’s Board of Governors said the decision affirms its commitment to keeping state universities affordable.

It is the first time in the system’s history that it has frozen its tuition for three years.

PASSHE oversees 14, four-year public universities with more than 93,000 students. As a result of the tuition freeze, students at the schools will continue to pay $7,716 for the 2021-22 academic year.

The system’s technology fee, currently at $478, will also remain the same.

“I am proud to join my fellow board members in prioritizing an accessible, affordable public higher education for our students,” said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. “A quality education and an affordable one go hand-in-hand at our universities. Students deserve our full support as they continue focusing on attaining a degree through the pandemic.”

The vote is an example of the kind of action Pennsylvania needs to make to ensure students have access to higher education, said PASSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein.

“To help Pennsylvania build a modern-day economy, to remain a reliable pathway for students into and beyond the middle class, to ensure every Pennsylvanian who wants can access quality higher education, we must take bold action like today’s vote on tuition,” he said.

Last year, colleges across the country responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by freezing their tuition.

As a continued response to the pandemic, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology announced in March that it would waive activity fees and freeze tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year.

“Our students and their families are continuing to feel the pressures of the pandemic,” said Pedro Rivera, president of Thaddeus Stevens. “By its very mission, Thaddeus Stevens College addresses economic barriers to accessing a college degree and commits to breaking down these roadblocks. A tuition freeze is one more step we can take to help ease the challenges our students have had to deal with this past year.”

Regarding tuition across the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has not yet seen any trends toward colleges increasing tuition freezing in 2021, said Kendall Alexander, the department’s press secretary.

Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis covers health care, the gig economy, cannabis and technology. Email him at ipashakis@bridgetowermedia.com.

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