Millersville University

Students walk between classes on the Millersville University campus Thursday October 18, 2018. 

For the first time in over two decades, tuition at Millersville University and its sister universities won’t be more this year than it was last year.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education on Wednesday unanimously passed the 14-school system’s first tuition freeze since the 1998-99 academic year. Base tuition in 2019-20 will remain $7,716.

Millersville, one of the handful of state-owned universities charging per credit, will stick with its current per-credit rate of $319. That means a Pennsylvania resident taking 15 credits per semester will pay $9,570 over the academic year.

With general and technology fees, which support a variety of on-campus student services and increased slightly this year, that number increases to $12,250. With room and board, which decreased 3% this year, the total cost is $26,356.

“The Board of Governors’ decision to freeze tuition aligns with Millersville University’s commitment to affordability, access and inclusion,” college President Daniel Wubah said in a statement.

Coupled with the room and board decrease, he said, “our students will have greater access to high-quality education, especially hands-on learning experiences, as we prepare them to become the workforce of tomorrow.”

State system Chancellor Dan Greenstein on Wednesday said the nearly 100,000-student system must be “bold, and we need to keep students at the center of everything we do.”

That mission has been challenging of late, as the state system’s enrollment has steadily decreased and, as a result, tuition has steadily increased.

At Millersville, alone, enrollment has dropped from 8,729 in 2010 to 7,781 in 2018, although it was one of the two state universities, the other being West Chester, to increase enrollment last year.

Meanwhile, annual tuition at Millersville increased from $5,804 to $9,540 in that same span for an in-state student taking 15 credits per semester.

Greenstein and the board of governors are in the midst of a system redesign that seeks to reverse that trend.

Their latest move was passing a flexible pricing model earlier this year which allows each state-owned university to set its own tuition starting in 2020.