Pitt Budgets Reflect Challenging Circumstances, Avoid Tuition Increases


PITTSBURGH––The Executive and Budget Committees of the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees have approved operating and capital budgets that include no tuition increase for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The budgets reflect the University’s operating stance in the COVID-19 pandemic, taking a cautious, prudent fiscal outlook while meeting the needs of students and their families who face extremely difficult financial situations.

“The University of Pittsburgh’s new budgets reflect optimism—that our mission is more critical than ever—while also acknowledging the unprecedented levels of uncertainty and flexibility that define life during a pandemic,” says Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.

These budgets follow the completion of the commonwealth’s appropriation to the University—funding that supports the continued investments in student success, research innovation and academic excellence.

The operating budget, set at $2.4 billion, keeps the tuition rates flat at all schools and campuses––undergraduate and graduate––both in-state and out-of-state, and does not increase room and board rates across all campuses for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The approved operating budget includes a projected research base of $878 million––funding that has never been more important as Pitt researchers search for a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, the operating budget continues to fully fund the Pitt Success Program, initiatives aimed at making a world-class Pitt education accessible and affordable for students and their families.

The approved operating budget also includes reduced or limited growth in other expenditures. The budget implements a permanent reduction of 3.7% and one-time reductions of 5% on average across the University. These reductions enable Pitt to match last year’s budget despite continued revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional cost-containment measures include no pay increases for faculty or staff; a University-wide controlled hiring for the full 2020-2021 academic year; calls to limit discretionary costs, including nonessential travel, supplies and equipment purchases; and presumed participation in voluntary retirement incentive programs—one for faculty and one for staff—-that can help reduce personnel costs.

The University’s approved capital budget for fiscal year 2021, set at approximately $140 million, a 78 percent reduction from the prior year, represents a strategic pause as the University makes deliberate and thoughtful decisions on the use of space on campus. This funding level also allows Pitt to continue prioritizing essential renovation and preservation projects as well as the health and safety of Pitt students, faculty and staff.