Penn State University will hold next year's tuition increase to the inflation rate, and Millersville University likely will as well, in a marked departure from last year.
That news comes as a direct result of the state's deciding not to follow through on Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed 20-30 percent cut in funding for state-funded universities.
Instead, the 14 state universities, community colleges and the state-related universities such as Penn State will receive the same funding they got during 2011-12.
Penn State University president Rodney Erickson said Friday that he'll propose a 2.9 percent tuition hike at the main campus, the lowest tuition increase Penn State will have experienced since 1967.
A final decision by the board of trustees is expected in mid-July.
Penn State's funding will remain at $227.7 million, after Corbett proposed scaling it back to $163.5 million.
The reasoning: Budget negotiations and the news that state revenue was higher than anticipated when Corbett proposed his budget helped lead to the university funding change, said state Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor.
"We felt we had cut higher ed tremendously last year," said Saylor, the House Majority Whip. "We didn't think it was necessarily in the best interest of the Commonwealth to do it again."Erickson said he will propose raising tuition 1.9 percent at the commonwealth campuses such as Penn State York.
Penn State York raised tuition 2.
Last month, a report by the U.S. Department of Education ranked Penn State as having the highest in-state tuition of any four-year public university during the 2010-11 school year.
'Very good news': The budget adoption and flat higher ed funding were also good news to the 14 state universities.
Roger Bruszewski, Millersville's vice president of finance said he also expects a "modest" tuition hike close to inflation, less than half the 7.5 percent increase last year at Millersville when state funding was cut 18 percent.
Bruszewski said last year's hike cost students about $200 extra per semester. In-state tuition last year was $6,240.
Bruszewski said he believes students should be able to swallow this tuition increase much easier; a decision is expected possibly in mid-July.
"That will definitely help kids who were worried about affording school," Bruszewski said.Kenn Marshall, a spokesman for the 14 state universities, said the flat funding was essential. Without it, much more severe tuition hikes would be hard to avoid.
"This is very good news," Marshall said.
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