Hurdle Rises for In-State Students as Colleges Court Out-Of-Staters

Tim Goral's picture
Thursday, March 15, 2012

With less state money coming in, Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh are bolstering their budgets by enrolling out-of-state students who pay higher tuition.

School records show the ratio of out-of-state freshmen at the universities' main campuses increased over the past decade, from 37 percent to 40 percent at Penn State and from 17 percent to 35 percent at Pitt. That coincides with a 27 percent reduction in subsidies for Pennsylvania's four state-related universities — Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln — since 2001-02.

Out-of-state students pay full tuition and fees; the state subsidizes resident tuition at the schools.

The difference, according to forms the universities submit to the U.S. Department of Education, is stunning: $24,680 a year for out-of-state undergraduate tuition at Pitt, compared to $15,272 for Pennsylvania residents; at Penn State, $27,206 for out-of-state students, compared to $15,124 for residents.

Julia Gitelman, a Mt. Lebanon senior with a 4.0 grade average and 1,970 SAT score, said Pitt disappointed her by deferring her application. The school asked for an additional reference and to inspect her most recent grades. She said Pitt rejected one of her friends and referred another to a branch campus.

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