Pennsylvania residents attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the 13 other State System of Higher Education institutions again will have a tuition freeze for the 2020-21 academic year.

After freezing tuition for the first time in two decades for 2019-20, PASSHE’s Board of Governors will hold that line again, setting basic in-state tuition for undergraduate students at $7,716 for 2020-21, while the system’s technology fee will remain at $478.

“Even under these historic, extraordinary circumstances, the State System must maintain its affordability and not pass the burden of these times on to our students,” said board Chairwoman Cindy Shapira.

Amid a disease that “impacted so much of our society and economy,” Shapira said PASSHE’s mission remains the same: “to provide quality, affordable, accessible public higher education.”

Prior to 2019-20, a year-to-year hold on tuition was approved only once in PASSHE’s 38-year history, for the 1998-99 school year.

PASSHE Chancellor Dr. Dan Greenstein said the 14 state-owned universities will have a role in leading Pennsylvania’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will be here to educate the business, health care, education and community leaders of tomorrow by maintaining our place as the affordable higher education option for students of the commonwealth,” Greenstein said.

In other board action, the governors approved an extension of a retirement incentive program to five collective bargaining units, making about 460 employees newly eligible. The program provides an enhanced sick leave payout if employees retire on or before Sept. 25.

It began earlier this year with the Association of Pennsylvania University State College & University Faculty, and 220 APSCUF members opted into the program.

The board also gave Greenstein authority to develop similar arrangements for the other employees within the system.