Considering scrapping their flat-rate tuition system, Pennsylvania begins experimenting with charging by the credit hour.

Jan Murphy of Penn Live writes:

More tuition experiments being tried at State System of Higher Education universities

Bloomsburg University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania are going to be the latest state universities to test the idea of scrapping their flat full-time undergraduate tuition rate and move to a system that charges students on a per-credit basis, starting in the fall.

That means the more courses students take the more they pay instead of paying a flat full-time in-state rate – which is now $3,410 a semester – regardless of whether they take 12 credits or 18 credits.

They are among the latest tuition pricing experiments being tried at universities in the State System of Higher Education at the urging of Chancellor Frank Brogan. Their purposes vary but generally seek to increase enrollment, improve student retention and graduation rates, align the student price with the cost of operating a program, and/or generating more money for the university.

On Thursday, the system’s board of governors approved four tuition pilots in addition to the 19 it previously approved at nine different universities over the past year as it explores ways to change the universities’ business model to be more market driven.

The other two pilots that were approved this week are at Slippery Rock and also start in the fall. One of them offers a discounted rate of 85 percent of the applicable tuition rate to active duty military and their spouses who enroll in its online courses. The other phases in over four years an added fee of $90 on students taking courses in the STEM and health fields that generally cost more to operate.