HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) –  The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education voted Thursday to freeze tuition for a fourth consecutive year.

Basic tuition for in-state undergraduate students at the System’s universities has been $7,716 for the last three years.

The State System also announced cuts of $173 million in operating costs and forgoing at least $63 million through the three years of tuition freezes, all while investing $100 million in student aid from the universities. 

Last October, the Board requested $550 million in state funding for the next fiscal year to offset the need for a tuition increase. As part of a renewed partnership between the State System and the Commonwealth, the Board is also seeking $201 million in direct-to-student aid and at least $75 million of the remaining $150 million in federal funding the General Assembly and governor have committed to continue the robust transformation of state-owned universities.

“Pennsylvania’s economy depends on the talented and well-educated graduates from the state-owned universities, and we are focused on providing a quality and affordable public education to students of all backgrounds,” said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. “We are hopeful the legislature supports our funding request so we can maintain the tuition freeze. With all of the other rising costs in our economy, working families should not have to worry about paying more for tuition at a public university.”

Nearly 90,000 students attend a State System university, making it the largest producer of bachelor’s degrees in Pennsylvania. Over 88% of the student body resides in Pennsylvania, and 78% of graduates from Pennsylvania are working within the Commonwealth three years after earning their degree.

“The State System is keeping its promise to the General Assembly to redesign, and that process is delivering positive results for our students and for the state,” said State System Chancellor Daniel Greenstein. “With additional investments from the state, the System can freeze tuition so more students can afford a high-quality public higher education as we work together to make Pennsylvania’s workforce stronger.”

“Just freezing tuition is not a sustainable strategy without meaningful investment from the Commonwealth,” said Greenstein. “Pennsylvania must invest in its state-owned universities if we want them to continue providing the high-quality, affordable education they were born to deliver.”