(Orientation) Where exactly is your tuition dollar spent?

Cameron Gorman

According to Collegeboard, the cost of college has been on a steady rise since the mid-1970s, with the cost of tuition and related fees in the 2015-2016 school year rising nearly 10% higher than last year’s combined cost. College is becoming, more and more so, something that is a serious and sometimes uncertain investment. Tuition costs are at an all-time high—so what, exactly, is the university using that money for?


Every year, the university creates and releases a budget, designed to help map out expenditures and future plans. The University Budget Office is responsible for overseeing the annual budget creation process, monitoring fiscal matters, and analyzing income and expenditures. The Most recent 2016 budget, for the fiscal year of July 1st, 2015, through June 30th, 2016, is available for review online at the Budget Office section of Kent State website. It offers a look into the causes our tuition dollars fund.


Kent State had a total of $267,734,085 in tuition revenue (what students are paying) available to use from last July through June of this year. This money was used for two distinct categories of fees the university must pay to fund programs, upkeep, salaries and student-centered expenditures. The two separate types are as follows:


  1. Instructional Fees- The money the university charges for instructional fees goes towards paying costs associated with running Kent State. Faculty teaching costs, operating expenses associated with areas such as the Bursar’s Office, library and dean’s office, utility costs and grounds are all paid for under this category. Student Scholarships are also funded with this money. Of the overall amount, $224,789,785 is used for instructional fees, or 83.96% of the total tuition revenue.

  2. General Fees- General fees include costs resulting from student services like the Career Services Center, the bookstore and other academic resources. 16.04% of the total funds ($42,944,300) is used for general fees, but the breakdown is much more precise than just this overall number:

    1. Bands demand $84,780; facilities $4,418,800; FlashCard operations $159,240; FOE bonds, $3,192,639; Health Center $3,394,710; intercollegiate athletics $14,581,536; off-campus & distance learning $1,401,260; Recreation Services $5,550,180; Registration Services $549,410; the Student Center $5,102,350; student leadership $273,290; student media $567,610; student organizations $985,950; student services within DEI division $129,945; theatre $84,780; and Transportation Services $2,467,820.


Overall, the University Budget shows that 100% of available tuition funds are utilized in an area of University expenditures, whether it be general or instructional fees. Tuition is expensive, and so, as it appears, is running Kent State.