Tuition for next year will increase

Jenna Staul

Lefton says 3.5% raise is expected

Students will see a 3.5 percent tuition increase for the 2010-2011 academic year, President Lester Lefton said Friday in a meeting with student media leaders.

Though the Board of Trustees has not yet discussed the issue, Lefton said he has “no doubt” that steep state budget cuts for higher education will bring about another jump in tuition.

“When they cut our budget by 8 percent, you can almost be sure we will (have to raise tuition), otherwise we’ll have to start closing some stuff down,” Lefton said. “We just can’t keep taking budget cuts and continuing to do the same thing.”

Last year, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to raise tuition by 3.5 percent after Ohio’s General Assembly eliminated a three-year tuition freeze for the state’s public universities.

Still, Lefton said, the university continues to operate on “thin margins.”

“We were very upfront and open about it from the beginning,” Lefton said. “We were one of the first schools out of the box to raise tuition. The other schools waited a month or two, but they all raised it anyway.”

If passed at 3.5 percent, undergraduate tuition next year will be $4,515 for a full-time, in-state student.

Lefton also discussed the eventual fees students will pay for an upcoming $200 million renovation of campus.

An estimated $7-per-credit-hour fee will take effect for the 2012-2013 year and will escalate in the following years. The majority of the project will be paid for in bonds — the Board of Trustees will begin taking out bonds in the next three months — and student fees will pay back the debt.

He said the university hopes to fund the remainder of the project through the state’s capitol funding, internal funds and fundraising.

“This is a very exciting

time for Kent State,” Lefton

said. “You are going to see

changes on this campus that,

unless you are a senior, you’re

going to say ‘wow.’”

Lefton revealed Kent State could become an investor in a

university-affiliated hotel and

conference center to be constructed


A development agreement

between the city, investors and

the university could be completed

within the next 120 days, Lefton

said, at which time the university

would decide if it will have a

direct stake in the project.

If the university invests in

the hotel complex, any profits it

makes will be returned into its general revenue fund.

“Our board is willing to consider

being an investor, but it’s

not completely clear if we will be

an investor,” Lefton said. “We are

prepared to do it if it will make

the deal work. And we will make

money off of it too.”

Contact administration reporter

Jenna Staul at [email protected].