Trustees approve graduate tuition policy in effort to increase enrollment

Wyatt Loy Reporter

Students considered out-of-state who earned a bachelor’s degree in Ohio will soon be offered a markedly lower tuition for nearly all of Kent State’s graduate programs, following a motion passed by the Board of Trustees.

The policy, passed on April 9, follows a recommendation by Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education asking Ohio universities to discount graduate tuition for out-of-state students. 

Based on current graduate tuition rates, eligible grad students will pay $1 more per credit hour, not to exceed $11 per term, over in-state students, effectively saving them more than $450 per credit hour. 

“We learned about this initiative by the chancellor as early as last year, when we were just learning about the coronavirus,” Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Melody Tankersley said. “However, we’re also motivated by the desire to keep talent in Ohio.”

Tankersley said while Kent State knows they’re losing money by implementing this policy, the amount of new graduate students will “even it out” and will be more beneficial than money over time.

“Yes, we’re losing all that tuition those students would have paid,” Tankersley said. “But if we get 80 more grad students in a semester, that’s 80 students we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

As Kent State is a “research-driven” university, Tankersley believes this policy will benefit Kent State greatly by allowing more opportunities for graduate research.

Trustee Chair Ralph Della Ratta said Kent State is “the first to implement this policy.”

“A lot of Ohio universities are developing similar price cuts,” Tankersley said. “However, ours is the most comprehensive, covering every graduate degree program at Kent State, barring the Podiatric Medicine program.”

The discount lasts for one year, starting with the summer classes beginning in June. However, it could be renewed if the program is successful, Tankersley said.

“Research is extremely important to Kent State,” Tankersley said. “We know it’s a risk, but we want to prioritize graduate research and bringing students and talent into Ohio.”

Wyatt Loy is an administration reporter. Contact him at [email protected].