PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We love our bragging rights in Pittsburgh, but this time around the University of Pittsburgh would probably rather pass on the spotlight.

The U.S. Department of Education says Pitt has the second-highest tuition rate in the country among “Public, 4-year or above” institutions of higher learning.

Pitt would be No. 1, but Penn State grabbed that spot with an annual tuition rate of $14,416. Pitt’s tuition is just $262 lower at $14,154. Penn State’s branch campuses take up 19 of the other spots in the top 30 most-expensive tuition in the country. When you add in room, board and other costs of a year in college, Penn State drops to sixth and Pitt to ninth in the country.

Pitt sent KDKA a statement late today blaming the dubious listing on “the Commonwealth’s de-emphasis on higher-education funding during the past decade.”

The statement goes on to point out that the University has twice this year been named a “Best Value” school – a point underscored by student Ben Dichter of Philadelphia.

“I always thought Pitt was a pretty good bang for your buck school,” she said. “I feel like I’m getting a really good education for the price I’m paying. I feel that Pitt stacks up against a lot of private universities in terms of the quality of education.”

It’s important to point out that the numbers used to create the list are fall 2009 to spring 2010 figures.

They don’t reflect any increases that went into effect this past year, or the looming increases due to the 19 percent cut in subsidies to the universities which the legislature passed this week.

More Reports By John Shumway
U.S. Dept. Education: College Affordability & Transparency Center

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