Is Penn State tuition too expensive?

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Is Penn State tuition too expensive? The Pennsylvania State University is one of the biggest state universities in the nation, with over 40,000 students currently enrolled in that university system. It is also a very old school, with its 150th birthday coming up in the year of 2005. Over the last one and a half century, Penn State has produced the most number of alumni in the world. In my major, meteorology alone, famous alumni such as Jon M. Nese, Greg Forbes, and Joe Bastardi are contributing their invaluable knowledge to the world in the science of meteorology. They are often seen in the national broadcasts. These are some of the major factors attracting perspective students to attend Penn State. Do you ever think about the cost of attending Penn State since Penn State is one of the most expensive public institutions in the United States? Let’s consider how expensive Penn State is for students. Is it worth as much as $20,000 per year for in-state residents, and is it worth as much as $30,000 per year for students living outside of Pennsylvania? More and more students change their final decisions due to the expensive cost of attending specific colleges or universities. Towards these issues, I will perform a detailed evaluation so that students can be informed about the cost of tuition at Penn State. First of all, comparing the price tags of going to Penn State and other similar colleges will provide a basic sense on how expensive Penn State is relative to others. For Midwestern public universities that have nearly the same sizes in enrollment compared to Penn State, the tuition of Penn State is by far more expensive than those Midwestern colleges. Let’s consider Michigan State University, with an enrollment of nearly 35,000. The in-state tuition for Michigan State University is about $6,700, while the out-of-state tuition is close to $16,700 (Michigan 2004). On the other hand, Penn State—University Park, has a student population of nearly 34,000 students. The in-state and out-of-state tuitions at Penn State are at least $2,000 more than the tuitions for attending Michigan State (PSU Registrar 2004). Penn State’s annual tuition is 30% more expensive than some public universities in the Midwest. One may argue that the difference in tuition is due to the location of the universities. This is not true at all, and I will provide evidence that will show that there is a weak or no correlation between the public university’s location and the tuition rate.

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