University uses reserves to help fund tuition freeze

Christina Stavale

Ohio’s tuition freeze puts Kent State’s tuition to a halt for the next two years, but it is not without drawbacks.

President Lester Lefton said this year the university will be receiving $4.7 million less in funds as a result of not raising student tuition. Despite this, he said the deficit will not have a negative impact on faculty and students.

David Creamer, senior vice president for administration, said to compensate for this loss, the university dipped into the Investment Stabilization Fund.

This fund is where the university stores extra money it does not need to immediately spend. Creamer said this fund contains roughly $327 million dollars, dating back to the beginning of the university. Last investment year in particular, he said, was very good for putting money aside.

Creamer said taking money out of the fund is uncommon, and the university does not normally do it.

“This is the first time to my knowledge that it’s been done,” he said.

Creamer said because the university will receive an increase in state funding next year – 9.8 percent, as opposed to 5.6 percent this year – there will be less of a shortfall in funding.

“There will be less of a burden in the second year,” he said. “The situation will be improved.”

The university is also beginning to receive a greater percentage of its overall income from the state. Last year, Creamer said the university received about 33 percent of its income from the state, and the rest from student tuition, but this year the amount of state income increased to 37 percent.

Creamer said while the university is uncertain about what the future will look like after the two-year freeze, tuition will not likely skyrocket, but increase slower than it has in the past 10 or 15 years.

“Nothing is an immediate concern because most of the news is positive,” he said. “We’re mainly focused on doing the best job we can for students.”

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].