University of Pittsburgh
July 13, 2003

Pitt Sets Tuition for 2004 Fiscal Year Amidst Higher Costs and Rising Quality

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—In line with the aspirations established by the University of Pittsburgh to become known as one of the finest institutions of higher education in the world, during the past eight years Pitt's administration has been making numerous investments in improving the quality of the academic experience, the social and recreational experience, and the physical infrastructure of each of Pitt's campuses.

These investments have resulted in smaller class sizes; better advising, counseling, and placement services; increased technological support services; better cultural and recreational opportunities; and upgraded and new physical structures. These investments, in turn, have rewarded the University with better students—as demonstrated by the increase each year in the number of applications, in class rank, and in the number of students who are eligible for the Honors College. In 1995, undergraduate applications to our Oakland campus numbered just over 7,800; this year undergraduate applications for fall of 2003 numbered more than 17,400—an increase of more than 120 percent. In terms of increased numbers of high-performing students, in 1995, 21 percent of the enrolled freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes. More than double that percentage—44 percent of those who have made deposits for next fall—ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes. And the percentage of freshmen who ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating classes has increased from 43percent to 75percent in that same period.

The University is capable of reaching greater heights, but the quality that is attracting our increasingly talented student body has a cost. And, despite the University's vigilance in seeking cost containment and careful management of resources and investments, Pitt—like all of higher education—is facing rising costs. In addition, the degree of the Commonwealth's support to the University is in question.

"The University of Pittsburgh has a history of working to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "We regard our fiscal vigilance as an ongoing, important process. Even as we continue to look for ways to further streamline expenditures, we do so with an awareness that, as we continue our ascent through the ranks of this country's leading research universities, we must continue to maintain and build upon our high quality by effectively investing in Pitt's growth today."

"As the chancellor pointed out in his comments to the Board of Trustees on June 19, it is very difficult to move up in the rankings that benchmark institutional performance, and harder still to move into the smaller pool at the top. It requires leapfrogging very fine institutions—institutions that have no intention of falling behind, institutions that are also investing in improvements, institutions that in many cases are charging much higher tuition," said Vice Chancellor for Budget and Controller Arthur Ramicone.

This year, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities expects average in-state undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities to increase by 12.3 percent.

The Budget Committee of the University of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees today voted to set undergraduate tuition for the 2003-04 fiscal year. Although the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not yet approved an appropriation for the University, the University administration believes it is essential to approve and publish tuition rates for the coming year so that these students and their parents may plan their budgets.

The University is raising tuition for in-state students by 9.5 percent for all of its programs, both undergraduate and graduate. This will result, for instance, in a $747 increase for in-state undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), whose tuition will increase from $7,868 to $8,615.

In addition, the University is raising tuition for most out-of-state students by 7.5 percent, with the exception of out-of-state students attending the School of Dental Medicine and the School of Medicine, which will receive a 5 percent increase in tuition. This means that tuition for an out-of-state undergraduate student in CAS will increase by $1,250, from $16,676 to $17,926.

Mindful of the burden this places on Pitt students, the University also has increased financial aid by comparable percentages, resulting in an increase in the financial aid budget of approximately $8 million. The increase will boost the University's total financial aid pool to approximately $101 million.

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