Penn State President Rodney Erickson announced Friday that he will propose the smallest tuition increase for Penn State in 35 years at the next Board of Trustees meeting on July 13.
He said he will suggest a 2.9 percent increase for in-state students at University Park and a 1.9 percent increase for in-state students at Commonwealth Campuses. The average increase is 2.4 percent, the lowest proposed in 45 years.
"This will help to keep the quality as well as the cost of education affordable for so many of our Pennsylvania residents," Erickson said during a press conference Friday.
Erickson will also recommend what he called a "very moderate" increase for room and board rates.
Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers wrote in an email that the proposal is a result of a pact made by Erickson in mid-May, when he said he would keep tuition increases down if Penn State received the same state appropriations as the previous year.
The presidents of the other state-related universities -- University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University -- made promises to state legislators about keeping the tuition low as well.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed the budget into law on Saturday.
"Because there are only two sources of funding for Penn State's educational enterprise -- state appropriation and tuition -- any drop in state funding always shifts the burden to the tuition side, impacting students and their families," Powers wrote. "Dr. Erickson is acutely aware of this dynamic and we continue to strive to keep any tuition increases as low as possible."
Powers said in-state, lower-division students at University Park would see their tuition go up $219, and those at Commonwealth Campuses would see a $116 increase. Out-of-state students would pay $329 more to attend University Park and $174 at the Commonwealth Campuses.
"To keep tuition increases low, not only are we looking to the state for level funding, but we also continue to institute major cost-cutting initiatives," Powers wrote.
She said Penn State has cut $237.7 million in recurring costs from its budget, which over time amounts to more than $2 billion in savings.
This rate has not yet been approved, and will go before the Board of Trustees on July 13, Powers said. The tuition rate is part of the university's overall budget proposal.
In February, Corbett proposed a 30 percent cut to Penn State's funding for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The Pa. Senate proposed an alternative budget, penned by the Senate GOP, in May.
Corbett also established in February a panel to examine how to make higher education more affordable for students.
In the summer of 2011, Penn State's tuition increased 3.8 percent on average, with a 4.9 percent increase for in-state students at University Park.
The university saw a loss of 19.6 percent in state appropriations that year.
In June, a ranking released by the U.S. Department of Education ranked Penn State as having the highest in-state tuition of any four-year public university during the 2010-11 school year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.