Board Sets Lowest-Percentage Tuition Increase in 40 Years

Issue Date: 
July 27, 2015

The University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees, acting through its Executive Committee, approved the University’s lowest-percentage tuition increase in 40 years. 

“Both the governor and the legislature have signaled their support for the University through their budget proposals,” Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said. “With these historically low tuition increases, we are demonstrating our commitment to partnering with the Commonwealth by keeping tuition levels as low as possible without weakening academic quality.”

The new rates approved represent a blended tuition increase for Pennsylvania students in the 2015-16 school year of 1.7 percent. That rate comprises no increase for tuition at the University’s four regional campuses and a 2.5 percent increase for Pennsylvania residents at the Pittsburgh campus. Out-of-state students on the Pittsburgh campus will see a 2.9 percent increase. 

The board has not yet approved an operating budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1. Gallagher explained that the University could not complete its operating budget without knowing the level of support that will be provided in the yet-to-be completed Commonwealth of Pennsylvania budget. 

“We are announcing tuition rate increases now, before final approval of a state appropriation, so that our students and their families can make plans for the coming year,” Gallagher said. 

Gallagher stressed that families expect high value for their tuition dollars, and so Pitt continues to drive quality while being sensitive to the cost for families. The value of a Pitt education continues to be recognized nationally. As evidence of that, Gallagher noted that for the past 10 years, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked Pitt as the top value among all public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. Pitt also was the only Pennsylvania public college or university included in The Princeton Review-USA TODAY national “Best Value Colleges” 2014 list, based on academic quality, cost, and financial aid.    

Gallagher added that the University continues to look for areas in which it can reduce costs and is planning, with the cooperation of the Commonwealth, to be able to maintain the approved tuition levels and to increase the student-aid budget by the same percentage after the state budget is announced. “We appreciate that the Commonwealth is taking the first steps toward restoring adequate support for Pitt and other state-related universities by working to increase university appropriations for the first time in five years,” Gallagher said. 

Gallagher thanked the University Planning and Budget Committee for its carefully crafted budget recommendation and the entire University community for its collective effort to keep costs down while continuing to deliver high quality.