State employees will receive a 20% tuition discount for online courses at PennWest University


PennWest University will offer a 20% online tuition discount to all Pennsylvania State employees, offered through its PennWest Global Online.

The reduction, announced Thursday, will be available on about 150 programs under a partnership with the state, effective for the spring 2023 semester.

The discount applies to undergraduate and graduate programs taken online.

State workers can apply for the rate starting Monday, November 7.

PennWest came into existence on July 1 through the merger of the universities of California (Pennsylvania), Clarion and Edinboro, one of two multi-campus consolidations instituted by the State System of Higher Education to stabilize finances and reverse the losses of registrations. In the northeast, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield are now under the umbrella of the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania.

PennWest saw a 17% drop in overall enrollment this fall, although freshman numbers rose 1.5%.

Collectively, the three-campus institution, with 12,780 students, is the second largest among the 10 universities in the state system after West Chester in suburban Philadelphia. PennWest is the second largest public university in western Pennsylvania.

Governor Tom Wolf welcomed the reduction and said it would help strengthen the workforce through educational opportunities.

Would save up to $1,550

Wendy Mackall, a spokeswoman for PennWest, said the rebate could be worth up to $1,550 per academic year (fall and spring) for a full-time undergraduate online student.

Employees of all 27 state agencies are eligible for the discount. A state spokesman did not specify the number of employees.

Mackall and the state spokesperson said the Commonwealth is not providing additional money to PennWest to support the rebate partnership.

“PennWest is committed to meeting the needs of adult learners in Pennsylvania, including state employees,” said Erinn Lake, vice president for strategic enrollment and global online advancement.

“The agreement makes obtaining an advanced degree more accessible and affordable for our workforce.”

“PennWest and the state system are expanding pathways for students of all ages to earn an affordable degree or credential that opens doors of opportunity now and in the future,” said PASSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein.

Details to come

More details will be available early next month, officials said.

State employees can check their department’s communications channels or visit in early November to learn how to apply. Information will also be shared through PennWest University’s social media channels.

Bill Schackner is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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