(Source: By Susan Snyder And Dara Mcbride, The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT) – Temple University’s board of trustees voted Thursday morning to hold the line on tuition for 2012-13, its decision coming just days after state lawmakers proposed restoring a 30 percent budget cut to Temple and two other state-related colleges.
It’s the first time since 1995 that the university has not raised tuition, said spokesman Ray Betzner.
The zero increase in tuition covers both in-state and out-of-state students. For in-state students, tuition will remain $13,006 and for out-of-state students, $22,832.
Room and board costs, which were previously set, will rise an average 3.9 percent.
As a major reason for the school’s ability to hold tuition stable, Temple officials cited state lawmakers’ intention to keep Temple’s funding at $139.9 million. The governor is expected to hold a news conference Friday regarding higher education.
Temple appears to be the first state or state-related college to take decisive action based on the legislature’s intention to restore funding.
Pennsylvania State University reiterated its commitment to keep tuition increases “modest” or below inflation if the state restored its funding. That commitment, made by president Rodney Erickson, covered in-state students, though efforts also would be made to keep other tuition hikes as low as possible, spokeswoman Lisa Powers said Thursday.
The board of trustees will vote on tuition at its July 13 meeting, she said, adding, “There are a number of different scenarios being looked at.”
The university previously set the room-and-board increase at an average 2.86 percent, $125 higher than the current year’s rate of $4,370.
At the University of Pittsburgh, the third state-related school in line to have its funding restored, officials said Thursday that they were not ready to announce anything regarding tuition. Lincoln University, also a state-related school, had not been slated for a funding cut.
The board of the State System of Higher Education, which oversees the 14 state schools, including West Chester and Cheyney, delayed a vote on tuition Thursday, pending state budget approval. Spokesman Kenn Marshall said a special meeting likely would be called in the next two weeks.
At Temple, officials announced that the university also would make an additional $8 million available for financial aid and that it had begun a long-term effort to raise funds for scholarships.
“This is going to be an all-out effort,” said board chairman Patrick O’Connor. “We are going to ask everyone who cares about the university to step up and take action. We need them to invest in our students.”
The university also will keep tuition the same in the majority of graduate programs.
The tuition freeze and additional funding was welcome news to Joanne Esler of Ocean County, N.J., who was on campus Thursday with her daughter, Victoria, an incoming liberal arts and political science student. The two were at Temple for freshman orientation, and Esler said her daughter hoped to attend Temple’s law school after her undergraduate studies, which would mean additional tuition.
“Any little bit helps,” Esler said. “The cost of tuition is so high, it would be good to get help.”
Jeff Neiburg, 21, of Kennett Square, a junior journalism major, recently transferred from Arizona State University to be closer to his family. He said it was a relief to come back to Pennsylvania and hear people on campus express concern about high tuition, which he said was not as readily discussed at ASU.
“Whenever it doesn’t go up, that’s a plus, especially with the economy,” Neiburg said.
Taylor Caputo, 21, of Wilmington, pays her tuition herself through a campus job and student loans. Now in her senior year as a metals and jewelry major, she said she and many of her friends were concerned about finding jobs out of college and paying off student debt.
Although the Temple administration has kept students in the loop regarding tuition news, Caputo said, the freeze was surprising – but good news. “You just expect tuition to go up,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had.”
Contact Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @ssnyderinq.
©2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer
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