State funding hike meant to hold PCT tuition in place

One of the beneficiaries of the unusually smooth state budget process was higher education.

And that includes the Pennsylvania College of Technology, which received a $662,000 increase in state funding, a 3-percent hike over this year.

“The message we are trying to send is we don’t see any reason why they should get a tuition increase again,” state Rep. Garth Everett, a Muncy Republican who represents much of our region, said.

Fellow local state Rep. Jeff Wheeland also does not understand why the boost in state funding can’t make it possible for Penn College to hold the tuition line.

If the message is to be received, it’s getting awfully late. The Penn College board recently approved yet another tuition increase, albeit a small one. Penn College is a true success story of growth and academic excellence, particularly in its trades programming.

It also used to be – and was always intended to be – a college that students who might not otherwise be able to afford college could attend.

That ship has sailed, in part as Penn College has become a part of the national casualty list when it comes to runaway higher education costs.

To a degree, we understand the ever-creeping tuition costs. All we have ever asked is that students and their families be given a break from the annual tuition hikes when possible. That does not seem unreasonable.

This would appear to be one of those rare years when holding tuition costs at existing rates is possible.

We would respectfully ask that the board reconsider its latest tuition hike.