Tuition to increase in fall

Kristyn Soltis

Students will see 3.5 percent raise

With higher education taking a $170 million cut in the state budget, Kent State will increase tuition the full 3.5 percent permitted, which will take effect the fall 2009 semester.

The 3.5 percent increase will cost in-state students $148 more each semester throughout the next two years, bringing tuition for a full-time student from $4,215 to $4,363.

“If we don’t see this $148 increase, what we will see is a decrease in services to students,” said University President Lester Lefton.

Gregg Floyd, vice president of finance and administration, confirmed students who have already paid their tuition for the fall 2009 semester will have to pay the $148 difference.

Business major Cary Ferguson doesn’t see the increase in tuition as surprising.

“It’s kind of inevitable isn’t it?” he said. “I mean, the bills are going up, right?”

Lefton expressed the same sentiment during the emergency Board of Trustees meeting.

“It’s important to know that during these last two years that the staff have gotten raises, health care costs have gone up, the electric company has not frozen their rates, the gas company has not frozen their rates, the telephone company has not frozen their rates,” Lefton said .

Lefton expects that without the tuition raise, the university would face at least a $4 million deficit. Even with the raise, the university is planning on a $1 million deficit for the upcoming year.

Lefton said students who receive the Ohio College Opportunity Grant could also face cuts up to $2,490.

“The Chancellor and the Board of Regents have made it a priority to ensure that independent, private and profit universities will bear the brunt of the cuts,” Lefton said.

Provost Robert Frank said some students may be affected by the tuition increase and cuts made to OCOG, however, he said the $148 is within a range the board believes most students will be able to reach.

“We don’t want to, in any way, act as if it doesn’t have an impact on students,” Frank said. “We understand.”

Contact principal reporter Kristyn Soltis at [email protected].