Indiana University of Pennsylvania trustees are following up on their action last month to reduce tuition by 20 percent for in-state students effective this fall.
However, for the time being, they held off on a similar reduction for students hailing from outside Pennsylvania.
The trustees voted Thursday to reduce the late payment fee by 33.3 percent and the student installment payment plan fee on average by 25.5 percent.
The latter fee currently ranges from $40 to $55, with the average being $47 in 2020-21. As approved this week, the fee will be set at $35 for all plans, effective May 31.
The late payment fee will be reduced from $30 to $20 per month, with the maximum late payment fee being reduced from $120 to $100 per semester, effective with the fall term.
University officials said that late fee is designed to incentivize timely payment of bills by students. With the trustees’ action Thursday, IUP’s late fee is consistent with fees charged by other universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Meanwhile, IUP will continue to offer payment plan options ranging from one to five months for students to pay their bills each semester. Over the course of the academic year, the most liberal payment plan would allow 10 payments, providing families with more flexibility in meeting university expenses.
The Council of Trustees also sought to simplify the payment process, to create more efficiencies for members of the Student Billing Office.
In his report to the trustees before those votes, IUP President Dr. Michael A. Driscoll said the aim is “to help make the IUP academic experience a little bit more accessible for our students,” saying, “All of this is an investment in the future of all students who want a superior educational value and to experience world-class academic opportunities.”
However, while the 72 percent of the student body who hail from Pennsylvania will get that Tuition Affordability Plan, and an end to the former undergraduate in-state resident per-credit rate, out-of-state and international students won’t, not at this time.
University officials said IUP’s Tuition Model and Pricing Workgroup will be reviewing and analyzing the tuition rates for those groups of students.
“The Tuition Affordability Plan was the first step in our efforts to make an IUP education even more affordable, reflecting our focus on becoming a more student-centered university, and this work is ongoing,” Driscoll said.
Still, there will be a reduction in the percentage for out-of-state and international students, to keep the dollar amount per credit unchanged.
For IUP’s out-of-state students, the rate will drop from 145 percent of what in-state students pay to 143.7 percent, keeping the per-credit rate at $463 per credit, for an annual tuition cost of $13,890 based on a student taking 30 credits annually.
For IUP’s international students, the rate will drop from 250 percent of what in-state students pay to 247.8 percent, as the dollar amount remains unchanged at $789 per credit and the annual tuition remains at $23,940 for international students taking 30 credits per year.
Driscoll also pointed out that “our tuition and meal plan rates have been frozen the past three years and our housing costs have held steady since 2016. In the past year, we awarded more than $16.4 million in scholarships to complement state and federal aid awards. ”
The IUP president noted a change that did happen recently.
“This is our first public meeting of the Council of Trustees since December 2019 where face coverings and social distancing weren’t required in IUP buildings,” Driscoll said. “It’s been a long, sometimes difficult road to this point, but I’m so happy that things are getting back to normal.”
Earlier this month, using federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Driscoll announced that face coverings no longer would be required in campus buildings, with a few exceptions.
“This was possible because of the care we have shown to each other in the IUP community,” the university president said.
“The pandemic has challenged us in ways we couldn’t have seen coming. But the way we stuck together, looked out for one another, and checked on each other is inspiring. It demonstrates one of the many great things we know about our university: that the best way to handle adversity is together.”