Tuition freeze, meal plan costs defined at Board of Trustees; Master Plan approved


(left to right) Beverley Warren, Larry Pollock and Shawn Riley address the press after the Board of Trustees meeting, March 7, 2018.

Laina Yost

The Facilities Master Plan, tuition freeze and a cost increase in meal plans received approval from the Board of Trustees.

Facilities Master Plan:

The Board of Trustees approved the Facilities Master Plan at its latest meeting. It begins the 10-year process of new buildings and renovations.

“It’s a bold, aspirational plan. And I think where we are at Kent State University is in such a solid planning, strategic moment,” said President Beverly Warren.

Warren emphasized safety in the meeting, saying they were thoughtful about traffic flow and creating walkable access on Front Campus without crossing traffic.

The Board passed Phase 1, which includes major renovations to Front Campus and a new College of Business Administration building.

Tuition Freeze:

The trustees also approved a tuition freeze for incoming freshmen. The freeze will include housing, meal plans and mandatory fees as well as career services fees. In some areas of study, the fee freeze is not included.

Tuition will rise 6 percent for all freshmen in Fall 2018. Meal plans will also have a 6 percent increase and housing will see a 3 percent increase.

The increase in the room and board rate will include unlimited, free laundry for all students in residence halls. Students will also be given the option to stay in their dorms over Spring Break with no added cost. The increase will apply to incoming freshmen and current students.

All current students will not see an increase in their tuition, which is locked in by the state of Ohio.

Regional campuses will no longer divide tuition into lower division and upper division costs.

The freeze will lock for four years.

Meal Plans:

All students will see an increase in their meal plans in the upcoming semester.

The cost for the new plans is now put into place. Incoming freshmen will choose between a Gold Plan, priced just over $2,500 and a Blue Plan, costing just over $2,000. The Blue Plan is a default plan for students.

The Flash Plans range between $500 – $2,020. The Board approved the costs and it will take effect in Fall 2018.

Regional campus meal plans will not see an increase.

Kent State and Barnes and Noble partnership:

Kent State is introducing Flash Books with Barnes and Noble to provide e-books for students. This will only be available in designated courses for the time being.

Students will pay a course fee for the selected materials. The e-books will be 30 to 70 percent cheaper. Costs will vary depending on the course and its materials. 

The course fee is automatically attached to students’ bills. Students will have the option to opt out of receiving the digital version of their textbook.

The pilot for this program will begin with a small number of courses in Fall 2018.

Other highlights from the meeting include:

  • The current scoreboard for the M.A.C. Center will be replaced at $1.7 million. This will also include new sound and lighting.
  • A new airport classroom building was approved. The university is waiting on the building’s last funding before beginning.
  • The Board will award Michael Keaton with an honorary degree at commencement.

Laina Yost is an administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected].