Flat tuition, fees expected for next year, Gallagher says

By Rebecca Johnson and Jon Moss

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said Thursday that he expected tuition, as well as room and board fees, to remain flat for the 2020-21 academic year. Pitt announced this week that classes will occur in person for the fall semester using a modified model.

Gallagher said the University budget will be “tight” for next year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but is in a better position than other universities and can “comfortably manage” the circumstances.

He added that despite tuition not expected to increase, student financial aid will go up, providing additional support to students and their families. Room and board costs will also not be increased, even though de-densified residence halls will cost more to operate.

“We think that’s the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Gallagher said.

Points of concern for the budget remain enrollment at regional campuses, the degree to which students cancel over the summer and whether international students can get to campus. The General Assembly passed a flat funding bill for the University last month, providing some budget surety for Pitt.

Gallagher said he would like to avoid layoffs or furloughs for faculty and staff, and instead get savings through attrition and turnover. No final decisions have been made on any retirement packages, he said.

Recommendations for the chancellor on tuition, salaries and general cost-cutting measures were passed by the University Planning and Budget Committee at a June meeting, and Gallagher is now finalizing the budget before several committees of the board of trustees review and vote in mid-July.