HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Tuition at West Chester University, Cheyney (photo), and the other 12 state-owned universities will take the biggest jump in nearly a decade this fall — the first of many consequences of the state budget passed by the legislature this week.

Tuition will increase by 7½ percent, or $436 per student, for the coming academic year. There will also be a 50 percent ($116) increase in the technology fee.

And Kenn Marshall, spokesman for the State System of Higher Education, says that won’t cover the entire deficit.  Each of the 14 universities will have to find their own way to make up the rest of the lost state funds, he said.

“It’s difficult to cut academic programs at this time of year because we’re already getting ready to start the semester,” he notes, “but there are other ways: putting off maintenance projects, putting off purchases. There are a number of things they can do.”

It could be worse — the effect of this increase is perhaps blunted by the fact that tuition increases at the state-owned universities have been below the rate of inflation for four of the six previous years.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau chief Tony Romeo