“Word” had it that Temple’s board had determined tuition and was waiting for the Governor to sign the budget to announce it.  Late Thursday night the Governor signed the budget into law; yesterday Temple announced their tuition (surprise!).

10%! That’s 2.5% more than “we” (PASSHE) raised ours on Thursday.

But here’s the real number: $736.

On Thursday, we raised tuition 7.5%, or $436.

Friday, Temple raised theirs 10%, or $1172.

If you are a prospective student, coming this fall, do you care about 7.5% or 10%?  Or do you care about $6,200 v. $13,000?  Does your bank account say “what percent increase was that?”

Thursday morning, Ken and I both advocated for filling PASSHE’s budget request; instead the Board voted for a significant and ground-breaking increase, but not enough to fill the “gap.”  The Chancellor said the gap was $33 million and that figure was picked up in the media.

But now we see how the others deal with it.  Temple is a competitor; anyone who’s had a kid in high school in PA knows this.  And they didn’t hesitate a moment to go up $1,200 (as this press report puts it) — which would have been a 21% increase for us.  We’ve never raised our tuition that much.  EVER.

We can be proud to be the low cost alternative for four-year degrees in Pennsylvania; we also can be proud to be below the national average — which will increase probably by our 7.5% this year, too, keeping us about $600 below the NATIONAL average.

We need to be proud of the quality education we provide; scrimping annually on filling in the gap will make that more and more difficult.  We can count on our competitors not worrying about their students’ pocketbooks to the same extent we do.

— Steve