Pitt Announces Tuition Increases After State Funding Cuts

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The University of Pittsburgh announced their operating budget for the current fiscal year and the news is not good for students.

Funding cuts in Pennsylvania’s budget have forced the university to significantly increase the cost of tuition.

“The deep and disproportionate reductions in state support built into the Commonwealth’s budget made it very difficult to craft this year’s operating budget. Pitt’s existing appropriation was cut by more than $40 million, a reduction of 22 percent. This compares to an overall reduction in state spending of about 4 percent,” Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said in a statement.

According to a statement from the university, Pitt’s Commonwealth appropriation for the 2012 fiscal year, which started on July 1, is $144.5 million. That number is down from the $184.9 million they operated under in 2011 and is the lowest it has been since 1995.

Tuition will increase 8.5 percent for in-state students and 4 percent for out-of-state students at the Oakland campus.

“I don’t have a way of getting money out of thin air,” Pitt senior Evan O’Brian said.

Tuition will also increase by 4 percent for all students at the Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville campuses.

Also, tuition will increase by 12 percent for in-state students and 6 percent for out-of-state students in the School of Medicine.

However, there will be no increases in student fees.

“We did put a priority on trying to shoulder as much of the load as we could,” Nordenberg said.

The tuition increases are expected to cover 40 percent of the school’s $70 million budget gap due to the cuts from Harrisburg.

Despite the bad news, it could have been worse.

The initial cut was going to be about 50 percent in overall funding, but it ended up being 32 percent.


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  • Jackie

    Gee…maybe if administrators such as Nordenberg took a pay cut and moved off campus funded housing they wouldn’t need the state funding.

    • Pondering

      Sounds like Corbett should do the same. He lives in the Gov Mansion and has EVERYTHING paid for while asking gov workers and teachers to take cuts and freezes. It would be nice if all those in charge actually walked the walk.

  • Nancy

    Where there is a will – there is a way to get to college and fund it. It’s called HARD WORK. PITT is a world-renoun University. PITT Oakland has more than 20,000 applicants for their Freshman class – they can only take around 3,400. If Pittsburghers could only appreciate what they have here.

  • Christine

    Why would Nordenberg do that – it’s easier to blame Tom Corbett for all of education’s woes. What’s really pathetic is the fact that Pitt was ranked NUMBER ONE regarding being the most expensive school in the COUNTRY in a group of schools that receive state subsidy, and second is PENN STATE!. That is absurd! To think that I graduated from Pitt…….

    • Pondering

      This is why:

      “Pitt’s Commonwealth appropriation for the 2012 fiscal year, which started on July 1, is $144.5 million. That number is down from the $184.9 million they operated under in 2011 and is the lowest it has been since 1995.”

      You know what gas cost in 1995 and other items. The amount from the state is not keeping up with inflation. Pitt is getting the idea that the state will not contribute what it should so it is rightfully assuming that contributions will continue to fall. They might as well start charging like a private school because they are not receiving enough funding to be completely public.

  • jamie

    GOOD JOB lets keep taking from the average student who doesn’t get ANY financial aid and leave them with enormous loans to pay back and KEEP giving out those grants and free educations to everyone else. GOTTA LOVE PA they don’t give IN STATE students the break other states do…$5,000 per year in-state WVU ex.

  • Christine

    That may be true about the amount of funding other states provide their constituents, but for Pitt to blame the tuition increase on the reduction in state subsidy is ridiculous! Pitt is the most expensive school in the entire country that receives subsidy, so if it’s the most expensive, it should have funds available to off-set the state loss. I believe Pitt wants to play the blame game so they don’t look like the bad guy with the tuition increase. When I went to Pitt, they increaesd my tuition reguarly with or without state subsidy.

  • nguyen

    For medical school, students there need the medical school much more than the other way around. You can charge many thousand dollars more if you want.
    Moreover, UPMC as the biggest employer in this local has been in a powerful monopoly position to do anything it wants in PA. Why not increase its tuition more.

    • Russ

      Only 36 percent of the students in Pitt’s medical school are from PA; the balance are from other countries and pay no tuition. There’s something wrong here Let’s educate our people or stop aiding Pitt.

      • Pondering

        Russ, some of the Foreign students pay more than the regular students and some of their families provide extra funding towards the medical school. In addition, most people do not understand that the tuition that a student pays for medical school only puts a dent in the actual cost of operating a medical school. The medical school frequently has practicing doctors as faculty. They are not cheap but they are essential.

      • Bob R.

        “the balance are from other countries and pay no tuition”

        Absolutely 100% false.

    • Anonymous

      UPMC is a seperate company. Tutition has nothing to do with them.

  • Anonymous

    Community college here I come. Save $1000.00’s of dollars and can transfer credits with no problem. No pay cuts for over paid Administers no different at the high school level and in state government

  • Pondering

    The cuts in funding has been a problem for the University. You cannot use funding from 1995 to fund in 2011. It does not work that way. Most Pitt employees have only had 1 or two 2% cost of living increases in the past 6 years. Unlike our legislators who have been getting 4% every year since 1995. Pitt has laid many workers off during the past two years. Pitt is the largest employer in Pittsburgh so if they continue to lay them off, you will have the trickle up effect in Pittsburgh. These workers shop in your stores, visit your doctors, have their cars (if they can afford them on their enormous salaries) fixed in your garages and they shop at your grocery stores. They also pay local, state and federal income taxes. Just what funds does Pitt have to off set the cuts? You do realize that these funds come then from tuition.

  • Anonymous

    I paid my own way at a private school. No state subsidy for me. If you want a college education, then pay for it. Take out the loans and work to pay them off. If you don’t want a college education, then get a trade job. There is no entitlement to a college education!

    • Anonymous

      Someone finally has common sense!!

    • Anonymous

      So you did not receive a student loan or any other financial aid? I also paid for my private school but it was funded through the military. While I could make this argument, it is extremely rare for a student to fund his or her education without any help in the form of scholarships or aid or parents paying for it. To get a trade job, you typically go to trade school and that is not cheap either. In fact, the government pays almost the same amount of federal financial aid to those who attend trade school as they do for those to attend a 4 year state college.

  • Pondering

    You can go to the Community College for certain majors but not all. Some majors like pharmacy require that you begin your degree at the 4 year school. Same with some engineering programs. I went to a CC and saved money for my 4 year degree but it is not the same for everyone. In addition, Pitt can choose not to accept credits from community college. Community Colleges are also 2 year not 4 year.

  • It's raining!

    maybe time dip into the $2billion plus endowment.?

    • Pondering

      Why should they since the state did not dip into its surplus? More than likely they will see no more state funding after this year. They are doing the right thing.

  • Christine

    I think a point that we’re missing is the fact that Pitt cost the most out of any college in the country, not PA, but in the entire country, that receives state subsidy. Penn State is the second most expensive school in the country. How can they justify an increase of this magnitude? There are a lot of great schools throughout the country, and their tuition is far less than Pitt. I agree with the person who wrote that Pitt is attempting to monopolize everything. Without an education, especially in specialized fields, you won’t go far, and Pitt realizes this and sticks it to you!

    • Pondering

      Simple, they do not receive enough funding to be completely state operated.
      $144.5 million is probably the cost of operating the medical school alone. It is very expensive to run a medical school and that is why AGH never got theirs off the ground. Duquesne looked at this as well and it did not work. I wish the best of luck to any new medical school. By the way, Pitt brings in lots to our economy. It is the biggest employer in the region.

  • Barry

    I am a loyal PITT alumnus with a daughter also at PITT.

    The interesting thing to closely watch at PITT going forward is if the administration starts treating in-state students any differently when providing academic scholarships. Historically, PITT (all campuses) has taken the attitude, “that if you are a truly gifted PA scholar (even if you are number one in your HS class) and you will bring something special to the University, the in-state tuition discount should be seen as your scholarship”. There are unfortunately many higher quality, PA and specifically, Pittsburgh area, students that choose other schools both public and private because the significant PITT scholarship funding goes to students from outside PA or for reasons unrelated to academics. As the gap in the in-state to out of state tuition narrows, will this scholarship inequity change? Worth watching.

  • Thomas J Duttine

    Another station is reporting that PA has 22 of the top 30 most expensive state universities in the country….Except 20 of them are PENN STATE CAMPUSES!!!!!!

  • JJD Wentworth

    Maybe they should just NOT spend what they aren’t getting from the state!!!!!!! Cutting spending is what has to be done, not increase the tuition……If you take a pay cut you don’t eat steak….do you have to be a professor to figure this out?

    • Pondering

      JJD Wentworth – They are not spending what the aren’t getting from the state. In order to provide a quality education, things cost money. The money has to come from somewhere. Unless all the alumni are going to donate enough money to meet the $40,000,000 cut, tuition is being raised. Pitt has already had hiring freezes, wage freezes (yes they are getting 2% this year but there have been several freezes in the past.) and layoffs. Many departments have been downsized and many people who are retiring are not being replaced. They have cut as much as they can and this tuition increase was a last result and you can see that they waited until the state adopted the budget. This administration wants to have quality education without paying for it. To make someone else to work without money is slavery.

  • Carlos

    Hi all,

    Please help me with the math. The 2012 Pitt budget is 1.9 billion. How many full-time students attend the University? I guessed 40 thousand. If this is the case, the per student cost (for the overall budget) is 47,500 dollars per student. Obviously, research and other projects are included in this budget.

    Next is the Chancellor’s statement of 163 million in scholarship funding being provided next year by the university. If you use these same 40,000 students as the divisor that 4,075 dollars for scholarships are being provided by the university or a full ride for approximately 10,500 full-time undergrads. I don’t know of any non-athlete from PA getting a full-ride. Am I missing something?

  • JustSaying

    Well, I only have a 2yr associate’s degree from a community college so I’m sure one or more of the higher educated individuals on here will set me straight but here are my observations…

    Problem: State cuts subsidy – revenue goes down expenses go up.

    Outcome: Failure.

    Solution: Raise tuition modestly, tap endowment fund as necessary.
    Cut expenses anywhere possible. Building funds, wage freezes,
    contract negotiations, any and all non-essential purchases, etc.

    Outcome: Sustainability

  • http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/07/08/students-parents-reacting-to-tuition-increases-at-pitt/ Students, Parents Reacting To Tuition Increases At University Of Pittsburgh « CBS Pittsburgh

    […] LINKS: University of Pittsburgh Pitt Announces Tuition Increases After State Funding Cuts More Local […]

  • Pondering

    They already have had wage freezes and there have been cutbacks in purchasing. Some of the big cost items tend to be the technology as it is in the public schools. I would suggest that Bill Gates and some of the other technocrats donate upgrades as it is very costly to keep upgrading. I am not kidding about this either. I am willing to be that technology costs are almost as high as salaries. Some students in programs that have low tech are getting ripped off because they are paying for upgrades to things that they never use.

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