- Public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania will raise tuition by $178, the smallest increase in nine years.
- Officials say the minimal jump is a result of drastic cost-saving measures undertaken by the schools over the last 10 years, while the state has increased appropriations to the institutions by more than $30 million in budget increases since 2014.
- Pennsylvania has 14 public institutions, which have been able to cut spending by nearly $300 million over the last 10 years.
The new way forward for public higher education appears to be a "race to survive strategy" where systems cut funding enough to eventually fold or expedite the case for merger of smaller institutions, while consolidations or closings make larger publics the biggest and most appealing college choices for regional students.
According to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, most states are still recovering from economic downturn, and have begun to minimally increase higher education spending. But it will likely never return to pre-2008 levels, and with the federal government also reducing spending in student aid and encouraging schools to find greater efficiencies in educating or credentialing students, there appears to be no way back for the higher education industry.