Amid state budget impasse, PASSHE board approves tuition freeze for fifth consecutive year

For the fifth consecutive year, tuition at schools within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, typically $7,716 for in-state students, remains unchanged.

The PASSHE Board of Governors unanimously voted to freeze tuition and technology rates for the 2023-24 academic year on Thursday, hoping that the $585.6 million included in the state budget — currently at an impasse and nearly one month past the June 30 deadline — stays in the finalized spending plan.

For out-of-state students, tuition ranges from $9,600 to $19,290.

“Freezing tuition for a fifth consecutive year has been a major priority for the State System universities to best serve our 85,000 students, many of whom are from low- and middle-income families,” PASSHE Board Chairperson Cynthia Shapira said. “Our students depend on PASSHE universities for a high-quality education at the lowest cost.”

The state budget is unfinished due to a standstill caused by disagreement over a school voucher program. Though the House and Senate approved a proposed spending plan, it still needs a signature from Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, on the chamber floor before it can move to Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk for final approval. Some bills that direct state funding, commonly called code bills, remain incomplete.

The current spending proposal does include a 6% increase — $33 million — for PASSHE schools. But without a finalized spending plan, the money sits in legislative limbo. Lawmakers are not expected to return to session until the end of September, making the budget, if finalized then, nearly three months late.

A short-lived impasse is unlikely to affect financial planning for schools, nonprofits, and state and local governments. An extended delay, like the nine-month stalemate in 2015 and 2016, will force officials to consider alternative funding or borrowing options.

Nearly 90% of students at PASSHE schools are Pennsylvania residents. The system, wanting to address years of lagging enrollment and increased tuition, approved a redesign in 2021 that consolidated six state-owned universities into two regional campuses.

Originally published at,by Marley Parish

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