Penn State planning to freeze 2020-21 tuition to help ease COVID-19 hardships

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Due to the economic challenges facing Pennsylvania and the nation, Penn State President Eric J. Barron announced plans today (April 23) to freeze tuition rates for all students University-wide for the 2020-21 academic year. The plan, which will be presented to the University’s Board of Trustees for final approval at its July meeting, would mark the third consecutive year that Penn State has held tuition rates flat for Pennsylvania resident students.

“It is imperative that we give our students and their families some measure of certainty in these uncertain times,” said Barron. “No one knows how long this pandemic and the associated economic disruptions will last, but we want to do our part to ease the strain on our students by letting them know as early as possible that their tuition will not increase for the next academic year. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, providing access to an affordable, high-quality education is a central part of our mission, and we are committed to doing all that we can to help our students continue in their studies and earn a Penn State degree.”

In addition to freezing tuition for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, Penn State has announced plans to adjust tuition rates for the upcoming summer 2020 semester, using a pre-existing tuition structure and also subject to Board of Trustees approval at is regularly scheduled May meeting.

“We are committed to maintaining the highest levels of quality in our academic programs despite the financial strains to the University’s revenue streams caused by COVID-19,” said Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones. “As we look ahead to the 2020-21 academic year, our students and their continued success is at the heart of all of our decision-making and planning.”

Penn State’s current tuition schedules, which are broken down by campus location, student residency status, student level (lower division, upper division or graduate), and program type, can be found at

Access and affordability have been a hallmark of Barron’s tenure as Penn State president. If the planned tuition freeze gains board approval, it would be the fourth time since 2015 that resident undergraduate tuition rates have remained level from one year to the next — joining tuition freezes that were implemented for the 2015-16, 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years.

Penn State leaders are continuing to plan for the next fiscal year and will present the University’s 2020-21 operating budget to the Board of Trustees for approval at the July 17 meeting.