Harrisburg, PA – The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) today voted unanimously to freeze tuition for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year and applauded the General Assembly and Governor Josh Shapiro for their strong support of State System students.
With the decision, tuition for in-state undergraduate students – nearly 90% of whom are Pennsylvania residents – will be flat for six consecutive years (2018-19–2023-24). If tuition had kept pace with inflation since 2018, it would be 21% higher today.
“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,” said Cynthia Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. “Our students depend on PASSHE universities for a high-quality education at the lowest cost.
“The State System is incredibly appreciative to the General Assembly and Governor Shapiro for their continued strong investment in PASSHE students and the state-owned, public universities that serve them. PASSHE was created to benefit Pennsylvania, and funding from the state is a lifeline for our students to have access to higher education.”
The state budget passed by the House and Senate would provide an increase of $33 million, or 6%, to PASSHE universities. With that level of investment, in the last two years the state has increased funding by $108 million, or nearly 23%, with PASSHE receiving $585.6 million in 2023-24, up from $477.5 million in 2021-22.
“PASSHE is proud of our partnership with the state, which helps Pennsylvania’s students get the education and skills for the most in-demand jobs at the lowest cost,” said Chancellor Dan Greenstein. “Higher education is changing, and State System universities are continuing to evolve to meet the new needs of students, employers and Pennsylvania’s economy. Together with the state, we are strengthening the pipeline of talented and skilled people from the classroom to the workforce and providing value to students as they gain the knowledge to build successful careers close to home.”
In addition to keeping in-state undergraduate tuition at $7,716 for a sixth year, PASSHE students will receive $125 million in university-funded financial aid to help them afford their education. The tuition freeze and aid are possible due to increased state funding and PASSHE universities saving $300 million through a commitment to cost efficiencies.
State System universities are a major contributor to Pennsylvania’s workforce and align academic programs to the needs of local communities and employers. In fact, PASSHE universities have increased the number of students graduating into high-demand careers – healthcare, STEM, education and business – since 2010, despite there being fewer total students.
State System highlights:
• Nearly 90% of students are from Pennsylvania, 33% of entering students are the first members of their family to go to college and 22% are part-time students.
• Over 35% of students have family incomes of $48,000 or less.
• More than 20% of students are underrepresented minority students
• PASSHE guarantees admission to transfer students with associate degrees from Pa. Community Colleges.
• College graduates earn $866,144 more over their careers than those without a degree.
• PASSHE universities contribute $4 billion in economic impact to Pennsylvania and are principal employers in their regions.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is the public university system of the commonwealth with a mission to provide a high-quality education at the lowest possible cost to students. The State System annually confers more than 20,000 degrees and has more than 800,000 living alumni, most of whom live in Pennsylvania. The State System universities are Cheyney, Commonwealth University (Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield), East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, Millersville, PennWest (California, Clarion and Edinboro), Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities of Pennsylvania.