1.5 percent tuition increase approved by Board of Trustees

Graphic by Kate Edwards

Graphic by Kate Edwards

Katy Coduto

The Kent State Board of Trustees approved a 1.5 percent tuition increase at a special meeting held Thursday to approve the budget for the 2013-2014 school year.

The increase in tuition will raise about $4.75 million and is part of the overall budget of $638 million that was also approved. The money raised by the increase in tuition will go directly to financial aid.

Trustee Jacqueline Woods, who presented the findings from the Finance and Administration Committee that recommended the increase, said that the students will ultimately be the ones who benefit from the increase.

“We recognize the sacrifice students and families are making to pay for a college education,” she said. “[The increase in tuition] will be directed to students in the form of financial aid.”

None of the money from the increased tuition will go to university operating expenses. The university had the option to increase tuition by up to 2 percent according to what the state of Ohio allows for public universities, but chose not to in order to maintain a commitment to affordability.

University spokesman Eric Mansfield said that the new budget is aided by a number of factors, including more donations to the university.

“The budget is supported by increased enrollment, the tuition increase and increases in giving,” he said.

Kent State is not the only public university in the state to raise tuition. The University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and Bowling Green State University all increased tuition as well, opting to raise it to the maximum 2 percent allowed. Miami University also increased tuition 1.5 percent.

Only three state universities chose to freeze tuition for the 2013-2014 school year. The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Toledo have all frozen tuition for in-state students.

Kent State’s increase in tuition will go into effect this fall. Undergraduates can expect an increase of $72 a semester, with graduate tuition raising by $77 a semester.

President Lester Lefton said that the quality of a Kent State education remains a priority, and raising tuition will keep the university on this track.

“We are being efficient, we are being effective, and we are putting quality as job number one,” he said.

In addition to approving the budget for 2013-2014, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution of appreciation to Jacqueline Woods as she ended her nine-year term as a member of the board. Woods was honored with the designation of Trustee Emeritus of Kent State University.

Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected].