WILLIAMSPORT — Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors this week approved a $156.6 million budget for 2020-21, reflecting a $3.9 million (2.41%) decrease in spending from 2019-20.

For Pennsylvania residents, who comprise 90.3% of the college’s total enrollment of 4,981, the budget includes an increase of 2.62% for tuition and fees combined. The increase for tuition alone is 3.07%.

The budget includes a flat (no increase) state appropriation of $26.7 million, accounting for 17.1% of the college’s total budget and 23.9% of its operating budget, which is $112 million (4.88% less than 2019-20).

Declining revenues in the budget are offset by a decrease in capital expenditures. At $3.7 million, capital expenditures are $6.4 million less than in 2019-20, when the college completed a substantial number of improvements to campus facilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented complexities and uncertainties in our 2020-21 budget projections and preparations,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Coupled with ongoing demographic shifts, and a continuing decline in the pool of available high school graduates, we are obliged to be increasingly innovative and creative in our programming and recruiting. The result is a budget that is lean, but one that enables us to offer students the types of hands-on programs for essential STEM professions that continue to boost the workforce across Pennsylvania and the nation.”

Rates for tuition and fees represent the bulk of Penn College’s budget revenues. A student’s annual costs are based on per-credit-hour fees: The number of credits for which a student is registered determines the actual cost.

The in-state rate for tuition and fees in 2020-21 will be $587 per credit hour, an increase of $15 per credit. A full-time, in-state student enrolled for the typical two 15-credit semesters in 2020-21 will pay $17,610 in tuition and fees, an increase of $450 over 2019-20.

Tuition and fees for out-of-state students will increase $21 per credit – to $839 per credit hour – in 2020-21. A full-time, nonresident student enrolled for two 15-credit semesters will pay a total of $25,170 in tuition and fees, an increase of $660 over 2019-20.

The budget projects credit-hour production will decrease by 3.53% in 2020-21.

The spending plan prescribes identical 1.5% increases for the rates charged by Residence Life and Dining Services at Penn College. The increases for student housing apply to all apartment/room configurations. All meal plans offered by Dining Services will rise by 1.5%, with the exception of the 50- and 80-block meal plans, which are due to increase by 1.4%.

To assist students and families with their college costs, a total of $95.8 million in financial aid – from a variety of federal, state and local sources – was awarded to 87.2% of Penn College enrollees in the most recent year (2018-19) for which data is available.

The auxiliary budgets for the Dunham Children’s Learning Center, Dining Services, The College Store, Residence Life and Workforce Development total $29.8 million in the 2020-21 budget.

The restricted current fund budget – which includes grants, contracts and restricted donations for which outside entities (such as governmental agencies) direct the use of the money – is $14.8 million in 2020-21.

The budget includes a 1.75% salary increase for faculty members, called for by the collective bargaining agreement with the Penn College Education Association. At this time, no raises are budgeted for non-bargaining unit employees.

The budget features a net reduction of 27 full-time positions. Total salary is budgeted to decrease by $216,300 in 2020-21.

Capital expenditures budgeted for 2020-21 include improvements to the Electrical Technologies Center and the mechatronics lab; completion of the welding expansion, which was dedicated in February; and investments in the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center, which will undergo extensive renovations courtesy of a donation from the engineering drafting technology alumnus.

Also featured in the 2020-21 budget are voluntary gifts of $100,000 to the City of Williamsport and $35,000 to the Williamsport Area School District. These are reevaluated annually.

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