University drafts reduced tuition policies

Michael Blackson

Tuition rates and increases have been the hot topic for many university students across Pennsylvania. Some universities, however, could become more attractive for new and incoming students due to a new flexible tuition policy.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) board approved an experimental, two-year pilot project for state-owned universities on February 23. This new policy gives presidents of all 14 universities the green light to set their own tuition rates for certain students.
Chancellor Frank T. Brogan said that PASSHE is “working to achieve a better balance between system-wide coordination and local decision making, which will allow each of our universities to leverage its own strengths to advance the institution and the entire system,” in an article in the Lancaster Intelligencer on January 24.
The President’s Cabinet of Millersville University discussed and approved two reduced tuition programs for out-of-state freshmen students in the spring and fall 2014 semesters, which were subsequently approved by the PASSHE Board of Governors. As of February 17, Brian Hazlett, vice president of enrollment management, says that the University has “admitted 475 students to date from out-of-state in this year’s class for fall 2014.”
Out-of-state students compose 14% of the total admits for next semester. Furthermore, about 20% of them meet the requirements for the reduced tuition plan.
The first plan mandates that students applying to Millersville who reside outside of Pennsylvania be enrolled and maintain good academic standing in any of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs, such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and others. They must have scored a minimum of 1000 on their SAT in Critical Reading and Math or a 21 on the ACT. Students who meet these standards can see a $3,000 reduction in their tuition per year.
The second plan is aimed at the high achievers of the new class, who meet either one of two standards prior to higher education: a minimum score of 1200 on their SAT on the Critical Reading and Math or 26 on the ACT; ranked within the top 10% of their graduating high school class and a minimum score of 1000 on their SAT on their Critical Reading and Math or 21 on the ACT. Additionally, they must maintain a good academic standing with the University.
Hazlett says that current enrollment data has shown that the new plans “increased our applications and deposits from last year” by 32% and 89%, respectively. The number of out-of-state admits also has increased from the previous years by 44%.
This information and more are available at…e-residents.php.