Penn College Board of Directors Approves 2003-04 Budget/Fees

Published 07.18.2003


Pennsylvania College of Technology's Board of Directors has approved an Operating Budget of $67.48 million for 2003-04, reflecting an expected 5-percent reduction in the College's state appropriation and projected enrollment growth of more than 5 percent.

The Operating Budget of $67,482,471 represents an 8.5-percent increase over the current year. The tuition rate for in-state students will rise by 5.8 percent. Tuition and fees combined will rise by 6.4 percent for Pennsylvania residents, who constitute 93 percent of the student population.

The projected state appropriation of $11,673,600 is a decrease of $614,400 (-5 percent) from the College's 2002-03 fiscal year budget.

The State Legislature has yet to pass a 2003-04 budget, and the College's budget reflects the reduced-appropriation proposal announced previously by Gov. Ed Rendell. If the state appropriation varies from what has been proposed, the College may make budgetary adjustments during the year, as it does typically when official enrollment figures become available, Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour said.

"This is a responsible budget that keeps expenditures and tuition costs as low as possible, given the unique circumstances we face," Dr. Gilmour said. "We do not know for certain what our state appropriation will be. We are opening two new facilities this fall College Avenue Labs and the Rose Street Apartments student-housing complex and the Student and Administrative Services Center opened earlier this year. And, while the College's continued enrollment growth represents an affirmation of our mission, it presents financial challenges, as well, since we remain absolutely committed to maintaining the high quality of our academic programs."

The Operating Budget includes 91/2 new teaching positions; nine new administrative, professional and technical positions; two new classified positions; and 13 new service positions. Salary increases are budgeted at an average of 3.25 percent.

Tuition for Pennsylvania residents will increase $14 per credit hour to $256. Tuition plus fees assessed on a per-credit-hour basis will increase $18 to $298 per credit hour. Tuition plus fees for an in-state student carrying a typical 15-credit load for two semesters will be $8,940.

Tuition for nonresidents who pay 1.3 times the in-state rate will increase $18 per credit hour to $333. Tuition plus fees assessed on a per-credit-hour basis will increase $22 to $375. Tuition plus fees for a nonresident carrying a 15-credit load for two semesters will be $11,250.

Fee increases include: Computer Fee, $2 per credit hour to $12; Capital fee, $2 per credit hour to $26; and Laboratory Instruction Fee, $1 per credit hour to $20. There will be no increase in the Student Activity Fee ($4 per credit hour).

In addition, special fees, which were charged in the past for the Physician Assistant, Dental Hygiene (associate's degree), Nursing (associate's degree) and Paramedic Technology majors, have been incorporated into the regular tuition and fees and will not be charged separately in 2003-04.

Last year's tuition increase (3.9 percent for in-state residents) was the lowest among all colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. The College's tuition increase was 4.8 percent in 2001-02, 4.5 percent in 2000-01 and 4 percent in 1999-2000.

To assist students with their education-related expenses, the College and its Foundation have awarded 250 scholarships totaling $274,600 for 2003-04. Penn College students received more than $41 million in financial aid in 2001-02 (the latest year for which official figures are available) from a variety of federal, state and local sources.

"We will continue to do all we can to help students secure the financial assistance they need to meet their educational goals," Dr. Gilmour said.

The 2003-04 budget projects enrollment growth of 5.39 percent. The projection is conservative and may actually be exceeded, Dr. Gilmour said. The College's Fall 2002 enrollment was 5,968.

Revenue-generating Auxiliary Fund budgets for 2003-04 total $15,014,787. They are: Food Services, $4,040,000; the Children's Learning Center, $340,570; the College Store, $4,190,100; the Technology Transfer Center, $417,000; Student Activities, $908,255; and Housing, $5,206,757.

Other Unrestricted Current Fund Budgets (distinct from the Operating and Auxiliary budgets) total $764,924. They are: Unrestricted Scholarships, $159,000; Gifts and Donations, $200,000; Use of College Resources, $25,000; Parking Permit Fund, $310,000; and Renewal and Replacement, $70,924.

The Restricted Current Fund which accounts for grants, contracts and restricted donations for which outside parties, such as governmental agencies, direct the use of the money will be $7,275,000, a decrease of $861,100 (-10.6 percent) from 2002-03.

The Debt Service Fund, which accounts for money received and expended for the College?s debt obligations from outstanding bond issues, will be $7,386,855, a decrease of $526,674 (-6.7 percent).

Overall, the College's Unrestricted Current Funds Budget which includes the $67.48 million-Operating Budget plus separate budgets for Auxiliary operations, Unrestricted Scholarships, Gifts and Donations, Use of College Resources, Parking Permits and Renewal and Replacements is $83,350,077, an increase of $7,682,960 (10.2 percent) over 2002-03.

The increase is attributed primarily to revenues generated by increased enrollment, auxiliary enterprises and the addition of the 365-bed Rose Street Apartments student-housing facility.