Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities are reporting record enrollment for the sixth straight year.
Enrollment has increased at the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education for the 11th straight year, officials said last week.
An additional 1,340 students, for a total of 110,428, are attending state universities this fall compared with last year, spokesman Kenn Marshall said.
One reason for the increase might be the increased number of high school graduates. According to the state department of education, more students graduated from high school in Pennsylvania last spring than in the previous 18 years.
Marshall cites two reasons for the steady uptick.
“The number of high school graduates in the state is a big factor, certainly,” Marshall said. “The rest of it is affordability. Our universities are the lowest-cost option of four-year schools in the state.”
Students at public institutions paid an average of $12,796 last academic year, while students at private institutions spent $30,367, for room, board and typical college student expenses factored in, according to the College Board.
The average total cost for Pennsylvania’s public universities last year was slightly below the national average. This academic year, tuition, fees, room and board will cost in-state students approximately $13,181.
Marshall said the board has tried to keep tuition at or below the rate of inflation for the last three years.
“We’re very concerned about keeping costs down,” he said. “We’ve been getting more state appropriations for the past few years, and that has allowed us to keep tuition increases under 5 percent.”
The 14 state universities are Kutztown, Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.
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