Students will pay more for tuition this fall

Nick Glunt

Kent State follows other universities’ trend with fee hike

Tuition at Kent State will increase by 3.5 percent beginning this fall semester, making the full-time undergraduate’s annual tuition $304 higher for Ohio residents and $572 higher for non-residents, and another fee hike may be looming ahead.

Emily Vincent, university director of media relations, said the state’s funding just isn’t enough anymore. The economic climate is too harsh, Vincent said, and so the board of trustees approved the tuition hike on May 27.

Kent State isn’t the only university in Ohio that is increasing tuition to deal with these problems. Ohio State University, Youngstown State University and Wright State University are just some of the other Ohio universities that have a tuition boost planned or even approved.

Even so, Kent State’s tuition ranking among universities in Ohio will stay mostly the same, Vincent said.

The tuition hike will affect regional campuses, graduate students, part-time students and out-of-state students.

Gregg Floyd, vice president of finance and administration, said other universities are using the same percentage increase. He pointed out that universities with higher tuition would see a higher boost in real dollars.

“If you’re taking a three-and-a-half increase at Miami,” Floyd said, “that three-and-a-half percent is a much bigger dollar amount than the three-and-a-half percent here at Kent. Over time, that gap just gets bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Despite Kent State’s increase in tuition costs, Floyd said all the data the university has collected shows positive enrollment transfer.

According to the Ohio budget, Floyd explained, state universities are currently allowed to increase tuition by 3.5 percent per year. Many universities in Ohio, he said, are planning to implement the maximum increase.

In fact, Ohio State held back on increasing their tuition until this summer (which is still considered part of the 2009-2010 school year). The university has already approved another increase for the fall. Students returning in the fall will see a 7 percent increase in tuition compared with last fall, plus an additional 1.5 percent in fees.

Floyd said the state’s funding is dropping, but costs are increasing. In order to deal with this issue, a tuition boost was required.

“We have approximately 70 percent, give or take a percent, of our budget that’s in compensation-related costs,” he said.

He explained that the university faculty union negotiates a labor agreement on salaries that the university must meet. He said those agreements are just one cost that is increasing, resulting in an increase in the budget as well.

This boost in tuition costs is not related to the university’s $200 million renovation plans, Floyd said.

He also said that if the chancellor approved another proposal, there could be another jump in tuition and fees combined. The proposal involves the addition of a fee to tuition that would shrink, as a student advanced in his or her degree. Floyd said the possible fee would go toward repaying the renovations debt.

Contact administration reporter Nick Glunt at [email protected]