Pa.’s state university system eyes changes to tuition plans | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Several state-owned universities want to modify how they price tuition next year, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which seeks to bill out-of-state students per-credit, rather than by flat rate, and reduce charges at branch campuses.

A State System of Higher Education board of governors committee discussed the proposals Monday. It then agreed to forward most of them to the full board, which could approve the changes when it meets Jan. 25.

Some members, though, expressed continuing unease over expanding the programs across the 14 universities, given that board efforts are still underway to assess the impact on enrollment and student completion rates of pricing plans already in use.

Mansfield University, which previously altered its out-of-state prices and switched to per-credit charges for full-time students, now wants to modify those pilot programs. They left Mansfield with 27 distinct price rates for undergraduates, and that could grow to 34 next year.

“The combination of these two pilots has resulted in a pricing strategy that is confusing to students and families, and is difficult to administer,” read the agenda material supporting Mansfield’s request. “The university has determined that both pilots are unsustainable.”

Interim State System chancellor Karen Whitney, citing the need to redesign the system without delay to confront financial and enrollment trouble, said it’s impossible to eliminate all risk. “We are flying in the plane and redesigning it,” she said.

But she also said a one-price-fits-all system no longer addresses individual campus challenges.

Read complete article here:

Pa.’s state university system eyes changes to tuition plans | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.