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Penn College Board Approves 2011-12 Budget, Tuition Rates

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors has approved a $99.45 million operating budget and a total budget of $142.33 million for 2011-12.

The budget includes a 4.08-percent increase in tuition (4.82 percent for tuition and fees combined) for Pennsylvania residents enrolled in 2011-12.

The $99,447,878 operating budget for 2011-12 represents a decrease of $634,839 (0.63 percent) from the current operating budget of $100,082,717. The $142,329,669 total budget for 2011-12 represents an increase of $790,910 (0.56 percent) over the $141,538,759 current plan.

Penn College’s state appropriations are budgeted to decline by $1.43 million (to $12,869,000) in 2011-12. The state’s budget proposal prescribes a $754,000 reduction in the college’s appropriation, and $676,000 in federal stimulus funds administered through the state are discontinued. State appropriations represent 12.9 percent of the college’s operating budget and 9 percent of its total budget.

“This was an extraordinarily difficult budget calling for cooperation and teamwork to confront a host of financial challenges,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “I am grateful for the support of faculty and staff in this effort.”

“Balancing the budget demands more than simply committing to cuts,” Gilmour explained. “We thoroughly examined our priorities and the work we perform, resulting in some difficult but necessary choices. The task does not end with approval of this budget; we will continue to assess the work we do and make additional adjustments as needed.”

Fall enrollment is conservatively budgeted for a 1.71-percent decrease, though Gilmour said the college administration is optimistic about prospects for the Fall 2011 freshman class.

In 2011-12, a full-time, in-state student enrolled for the typical two 15-credit semesters will pay $13,710 in tuition and fees, an increase of $630 over the current year.

Out-of-state residents pay a tuition rate indexed at 1.3 times the in-state rate. Tuition for non-Pennsylvania residents will rise by 4.18 percent in 2011-12. An out-of-state student enrolled for two 15-credit semesters will pay $17,160 in tuition and fees, an increase of $780 (4.76 percent) over 2010-11.

Annual costs for Penn College students are based upon per-credit-hour fees; the number of credits for which a student is registered determines the actual cost. For an in-state student, tuition and fees will be $457 per credit hour, an increase of $21 per credit over the current year.

More than three-quarters of all Penn College students receive financial aid to assist with their education costs. For 2009-10, the last year for which official figures are available, Penn College students received aid totaling $89.7 million from a variety of federal, state and local sources.

The college’s personnel costs are budgeted to rise by less than 1 percent in 2011-12. A retirement-incentive program and other reductions resulted in 34 fewer positions in the budget. These include two vice presidents, 15 staff in the APT (Administrative, Professional and Technical) job classification, seven faculty and 10 “calendar changes” (a reduction from full-time to part-time status, for instance).

The retirement-incentive program resulted in salary and benefit savings of $914,000, and the program is projected to save $1.7 million in 2012-13.

The budget includes a 1-percent salary-increase pool for full-time, regular employees earning $40,000 or less annually. Faculty raises for 2011-12 were reduced by 1 percent from the initial contracted amount. Employee benefits will increase 9.11 percent to $26.9 million, largely due to a 10-percent increase in health insurance costs.

The 2011-12 budget also reflects a total of $1.2 million in savings generated by college bond refinancing.

The college’s revenue-generating auxiliary fund budgets for 2011-12 total $24.22 million. The restricted current fund budget for grants, contracts and restricted donations for which outside entities (such as governmental agencies) direct the use of the money totals $18.04 million.

Funding for new initiatives, which are tied to goals derived from the college’s strategic plan, is budgeted at $274,600. The largest initiatives for 2011-12 are $155,700 for improving wireless connectivity in residence halls and providing enhanced health services, and $54,500 for an additional section of heavy equipment instruction and reaccreditation of the civil engineering/surveying and plastics programs.

Also included in the budget are gifts of $100,000 to the City of Williamsport and $35,000 to the Williamsport Area School District. Both voluntary contributions are re-examined on an annual basis.

Penn College is a special-mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University; its state appropriation is issued via a line item in Penn State’s budget. Penn College receives no direct funding from Penn State, and the college establishes its own rates for tuition and fees, which constitute the bulk of its revenues.

The state Legislature has not yet passed a budget for 2011-12. At a meeting in April, the Penn College Board authorized the college to continue operating at 2010-11 adjusted budget levels until a state budget is passed and signed into law.

For more information about Penn College, visit online , email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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