The Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education will meet on Monday and Tuesday next week, with a full agenda highlighted by the setting of tuition levels for IUP and the thirteen other state-owned universities.
The new state budget includes level funding for the State System, with a total allocation of $412.8 million. But expenses keep going up…the schools will have to find more money to pay for increases for union and non-union employees. There will be susbtantial savings in health care, but those savings are compared to what was originally budgeted…
rather than an eight percent increase, it will be about 2.4 percent.
Enrollment estimates at the fourteen schools do not look good. While IUP has been setting records in enrollment in recent years, other universities are struggling, and overall the State System estimates that revenue from tuition will drop about seven-tenths of one percent, or $5.6 million, Declining enrollment will also result in a loss of revenue from fees, and there is more than 35 percent less money to carry forward from last year.
The bottom line is that revenues are expected to fall 1.6 percent while expenses will increase 3.4 percent. And students and their families will anxiously wait to find out how much a college education will cost this year.