Tuition to increase in 2016-17

Written By Josh Croup

Students will pay more to take classes next year at Point Park.

All full time undergraduate students at Point Park University will experience a tuition increase of 2.9 percent for the 2016-17 academic year.

The university tuition is increasing to $27,780 per year for students in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business and Communication. That is up from the 2015-16 figure of $27,000.w

Students in the Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA) will pay $35,400, up from $34,400 in 2015-16. 

Last year, the university announced a tuition increase via an email from President Paul Hennigan. The email announced a 4.9 percent increase for COPA students and a 3.9 percent increase for non-COPA students.

Point Park provided the following statement to the Globe upon request, detailing the increases for next year:

“An education at Point Park University continues to be an excellent value. A 90 percent placement rate shows how in demand Point Park graduates are as they embark on professional careers. Point Park University works with each student to ensure a quality affordable education and awards more than $80 million annually in financial aid. 

Each year, administration, faculty and the Board of Trustees evaluate programs and budgets before setting tuition for the coming school year. This year, a tuition increase of 2.9 percent was set for students with majors in the schools of Business, Arts & Sciences and Communication. Conservatory tuition also will increase 2.9 percent.”

The tuition hike is the lowest percent increase in Point Park’s history as a university.

This year’s $1000 increase is the lowest for COPA students since the increase for the 2004-05 school year. The $780 rise for non-COPA students in the lowest since tuition went up by the same price for the 2005-06 school year.

United Student Government (USG) President Blaine King said tuition increases are inevitable and something students have to deal with. 

“Since tuition increased a lot last year, I can understand students asking, ‘why is this going up?’ It’s just something we can’t escape,” King said Monday after the USG meeting. 

According to the university’s fact book, the number of undergraduate students receiving financial aid has increased 4 percent since 2010. 

Point Park students received more than $84 million in financial aid last year. Hennigan told the Globe last year that financial aid is the No. 1 cost driver at the university.

Tuition has increased 34 percent for COPA students since 2010 and 30 percent for non-COPA students.    

While COPA students pay more than non-COPA students, this has not always been the case.

The last time both COPA and non-COPA students paid the same per credit hour was during the 2000-01 academic year, when tuition was $12,596.

Sophomore dance major Carmella Cuomo said Monday in Lawrence Hall that a tuition increase won’t prevent the Florida native from returning for her junior year. 

While Cuomo does not like the increase in tuition, she understands increasing the cost to better the university’s resources.

“When it comes to increasing tuition, I don’t feel it’s necessary unless it has to do with bringing in more professors, the types of professors, or if you’re adding more to the program,” Cuomo said. “Anything in that sense, I would understand increasing tuition. But other than that, I wouldn’t find it necessary to increase tuition.”

King is optimistic the small increase is a good sign of things to come.

“It’s not a big jump this year, which is a good thing,” King said. “Hopefully, it can stay at that rate or even lower. As long as it doesn’t go up huge amounts, I think we should be fine.”