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Board Approves Budget, Fees for 2000-01

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors has approved a $53.6 million operating budget for 2000-01 that includes an additional state appropriation of $2 million to enhance the College’s workforce-development initiatives.

The operating budget includes a total state appropriation of $14,672,000 − up $2,306,000 (18.6 percent) from 1999-2000. The $2 million portion of the appropriation recognizes Penn College’s leadership in technology and workforce education and provides extra funds to tailor programs to meet industry needs, expand service to business and industry through outreach and distance education and upgrade equipment.

The budget includes a tuition increase of 4.5 percent for Pennsylvania residents and nonresidents. The 4.5-percent tuition increase is slightly less than the average of the past five years (4.55 percent). Tuition rose 4 percent last year, 3.2 percent in 1998-99, 4.5 percent in 1997-98, 6.51 percent in 1996-97 and 4.52 percent in 1995-96.

“I wish we could do better,” said Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. “I am troubled by the impact of rising tuition costs on our students. I am especially worried that some men and women do not even try to achieve their college dreams, because they believe the costs are too high. We are committed to making sure students get real value for their tuition dollar.

“Keeping pace with technology by upgrading equipment for hands-on instruction and maintaining a faculty that is qualified to prepare students for success in the real world costs more than traditional classroom-based education, but it also provides real value on the dollar. Still, I know that tuition bills place a real financial burden on most of our population. We must continue to look for ways to help students carry the load, so they can achieve their career goals.”

Students are receiving an ever-increasing amount of financial assistance from federal and state grants, work programs, scholarships, student and parent loans and other sources, Dr. Gilmour said. A record number of 4,329 students received financial aid exceeding $33 million (also an all-time high) for the 1999-2000 academic year.

In addition, the College and the Penn College Foundation provided more than 220 scholarship awards totaling $288,924 for the 1999-2000 academic year − a nearly 50-percent increase over 1998-99. Since enhanced fund-raising activities began in 1997-98, the amount awarded by the College and Foundation has risen by $242,300 (519 percent), Dr. Gilmour said.

For the 2000-01 academic year, tuition for Pennsylvania-resident students will be $220.40 per credit hour. Tuition for nonresident students, who pay 1.2 times the in-state rate, will be $266.90 per credit hour. Student fees add another two-tenths of 1 percent to the cost increase for 2000-01. The fees include a $14.70-per-credit-hour capital fee, a $7-per-credit-hour computer fee and a $3.30-per-credit-hour student activity fee.

A typical full-time resident student taking 15 credit hours of instruction per semester will pay tuition and fees for the 2000-01 academic year of $7,422, or $247.40 per credit hour. Nonresident students enrolled for the same number of credits will pay a total of $8,757, or $291.90 per credit hour. These figures do not include laboratory-instruction fees, special program fees, books, room and board or other costs not assessed on a per-credit-hour basis, which vary according to individual student needs.

The operating budget, which increases 10.1 percent from 1999-2000, anticipates a projected enrollment increase of 2.4 percent for 2000-01. Revenue from tuition and fees is expected to total $37,202,437, or 69.4 percent of the $53,633,050 operating budget.

Student-housing fees at the Village at Penn College and Campus View Apartments, which were approved earlier by the Board, will be $1,650 per semester − an increase of 3.8 percent over 1999-2000.

At the recently purchased College West Apartments, housing fees will range, depending upon room configuration, from $1,400 to $1,650 per semester. In addition, all housing students pay a $13 residence life fee per semester.

Personnel costs ($39,868,759) represent 74.3 percent of the operating budget for 2000-01. Salary adjustments will average 3 percent for bargaining-unit and nonbargaining-unit faculty and staff. The College employs nearly 1,000 people, including more than 650 full-time faculty and staff, making it the fifth-largest employer in Lycoming County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

In addition to the operating budget, revenue-generating auxiliary funds will generate more than $15.7 million to help cover the cost of College initiatives, including corporate relations, commencement and other activities. These include the College Store ($3,190,822), Food Services ($2,600,000), Technology Transfer Center ($5,532,357), Housing ($3,420,257), Student Activities ($760,621) and the Children’s Learning Center ($251,018).

Other unrestricted current fund budgets (distinct from the operating and auxiliary budgets) total $620,500 and include parking permits ($270,000), gifts and donations ($200,000), unrestricted scholarships ($125,000) and use of college resources ($25,000). The restricted current fund, which includes grants, contracts and restricted donations, is projected at $5,548,677 for 2000-01.

Debt service will total $4,681,554. The total College budget for 2000-01, which includes the operating budget and all restricted and unrestricted funds, will exceed $80.2 million.

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