Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Penn State #1 . . . But this time it’s not for a good reason

How important are college rankings? How much store do you put in the annual US News & World Report college rankings? Well, you might be interested in this ranking – Penn State, University Park campus is number one on this list, but this time it’s not for a good reason.

The US Department of Education has released on a report on college cost comparisons and Penn State heads the list for the state schools. Penn State is #1 on the list and the only state school with a yearly tuition over $15,000! For comparison purposes, the national average for 4-year state schools is $6,397.

You probably would assume that attending one of our state schools rather than attending a private school or venturing beyond the state’s boundaries would save students thousands of dollars. Does not look like that may any longer be the case for Pennsylvania residents — Penn State University is the most expensive public school in America.

In case you are wondering about the cheapest 4-year public universities – Kansas’s Haskell Indian Nations University has the lowest annual tuition ($403) and Dine College in Arizona is in second place with an annual tuition of $805.

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  1. As someone who is married to a long-time Penn State graduate, I can assure you that anyone who attended PSU would say that the school is more than worth 15K a year – they revere the school and their experiences at Happy Valley.

    Unfortunately, with the high cost of tuition, fewer young people will be able to say the same.

  2. Penn State has historically been one of the higher priced state universities. I know when it was time for me to go to college 30+ years ago, I chose a private university and the cost was only $3,000 more than Penn State. Now that same university is almost $50,000 and PSU is well more than $20K. (Maybe they are not including the cost of attending the school in the article — because my own kids could not have attended PSU for less than $20K.)

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