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Penn College Board Approves Budget, Tuition Rates for 2005-06

In a special meeting Saturday, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors approved an operating budget of $79,372,591 and set tuition rates for the 2005-06 academic year.

The operating budget represents a 7.09-percent increase over 2004-05. Tuition for Pennsylvania residents, who constitute 91.6 percent of the college’s enrollment, will rise by 5.9 percent. Tuition and fees combined will rise by 6.3 percent for in-state residents.

A total of $3.8 million was pared from departmental budget requests, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said. These included items such as $184,000 for vehicles and $141,000 for capital equipment. She praised those who prepared the budget for limiting expenditures while facing daunting challenges like rising costs for utilities and insurance.

“The leadership team worked very hard to keep tuition increases as low as possible,”she said. “There was a collaborative effort to continue our commitment to delivering quality education for Penn College students.”

The 2005-06 budget includes a state appropriation of $12,114,000 − a 3-percent increase over 2004-05.

Gilmour expressed thanks to Rep. Brett O. Feese and Sen. Roger A. Madigan − both members of the Penn College Board of Directors − for their efforts to secure funding for the college in the $24.3 billion state budget, which was approved early Thursday.

“We are enormously grateful for the efforts of Rep. Feese and Sen. Madigan to increase our state appropriation,” she said. “It had a direct impact on our ability to hold down tuition costs for students.”

Tuition for Pennsylvania residents will increase by $16 (to $286 per credit hour). Tuition and fees assessed on a per-credit-hour basis will increase by $20 (to $336 per credit hour). Tuition and fees for an in-state student carrying a typical 15-credit load over two semesters will be $10,080 in 2005-06.

Tuition for out-of-state students, who pay 1.3 times the in-state rate, will increase by $20 (to $372 per credit hour). Tuition and fees assessed on a per-credit-hour basis will rise by $24 (to $422 per credit hour). Tuition and fees for a nonresident carrying a 15-credit load over two semesters will be $12,660 in 2005-06.

Fee increases include: capital fee, $3 (to $32 per credit hour); laboratory instruction fee, $2 (to $24 per lab hour); and the computer fee, $1 (to $13 per credit hour). There will be no increase in the activity fee, which is $5 per credit hour.

Nearly three-quarters of all Penn College students receive financial aid to assist with their education costs. In 2003-04 (the last year for which official figures are available), Penn College students received aid totaling $53.8 million from a variety of federal, state and local sources.

The 2005-06 budget projects that the Fall 2005 enrollment will grow by 1.9 percent over the Fall 2004 total of 6,358.

The operating budget includes seven new faculty positions, 10 new professional and technical positions, and two new service positions. Twenty-seven new positions were requested in the budget; 19 were funded. No occupied positions were eliminated, and the budget includes an across-the-board 3-percent salary increase for all eligible (nonfaculty) employees.

Revenue-generating auxiliary fund budgets for 2005-06 total $16,790,527. The budgets are: Food Services, $4,018,812; the Children?s Learning Center, $397,963; the College Store, $4,933,000; Workforce Development and Continuing Education, $410,500; Student Activities, $1,209,610; and Housing, $5,820,642.

Other unrestricted current fund budgets (distinct from the operating and auxiliary budgets) total $796,625. They are: unrestricted scholarships, $241,625; gifts and donations, $200,000; use of college resources, $25,000; and the parking permit fund, $330,000.

The restricted current fund budget − which accounts for grants, contracts and restricted donations for which outside parties, such as governmental agencies, direct the use of the money − totals $26,194,996, an increase of $17,707,163 (208.6 percent) from 2004-05. This increase is due primarily to the college becoming the statewide administrator of WEDnetPA, the Commonwealth’s Guaranteed Free Training Program.

The plant fund budget, which accounts for the college’s physical facilities, totals $9,081,862. This includes the renewal and replacement fund, $57,570; and the debt service fund, $9,024,292. The renewal and replacement fund is designated for the upgrading and replacement of capital items. The debt service fund accounts for money received and expended for the college?s bond obligations.

Overall, the college’s unrestricted current funds budget − which includes the $79.4 million operating budget plus separate budgets for auxiliary operations, unrestricted scholarships, gifts and donations, use of college resources, and parking permits − is $96,959,743, an increase of $5,257,035 (5.73 percent) over 2004-05.

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