Board of Trustees approves 4.6% tuition increase for fall 2022 cohort

Alexandra Golden, Editor-in-Chief

The Kent State Board of Trustees approved a 4.6% tuition increase for the fall 2022 cohort of in-state, incoming freshmen at its Wednesday meeting. The meeting was held at Berkshire Local Schools in Burton, Ohio, which are located near the Kent State Geauga campus. 

Under the Kent State Tuition Guarantee, adopted by the board beginning in fall 2018, the students will pay $6152.20 each semester for the next four years. The guarantee ensures that tuition, on-campus housing and meal plan rates for each four-year cohort of students do not increase from their first enrollment as degree-seeking students. 

In-state freshmen who started at Kent State in fall 2021 paid $5,881.70 per semester for tuition, which will increase $270.50 to $6,152.20 per semester for those students starting classes in fall 2022. 

The double room rate for dormitories will increase by $40, rising to $3,890 per semester. The most popular meal plan, known as the Blue plan, will increase by $92 dollars to $2,448 per semester, according to a press release sent after the meeting. 

Non-Ohio residents will see an increase of $115.40 per semester in the undergraduate full-time tuition rate. Those who don’t graduate by their fifth year or more will also see a tuition increase of $102.10 per semester. 

The board also approved the establishment and registration of a not-for-profit Community Benefit Company in Rwanda, Africa. This private, limited company is intended to serve as a home base for Kent State’s operations in Africa, according to the press release, and a strategic starting point for engaging in the African continent’s expanding higher education market. 

The Community Benefit Company would be administered through the Office of the Provost and overseen by the associate vice president for global education and is intended to introduce Kent State to the education markets in Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and neighboring countries.

“We received more than 4,000 applications from the continent this year, which accounts for one quarter of all international applications,” Trustee Robert Frost said.

Kent State also runs international recruitment programs in Florence, Italy; Geneva, Switzerland; and New Delhi, India.

The board approved the university’s 2022 Ohio Campus Completion Plan that updates the university’s progress toward goals it established in 2014 and identifies the university’s goals to increase retention and persistence over the next two years.  

The retention rate of Kent’s campus increased to 80% since 2014, when the benchmark in the Campus Completion Plan was 77.6%. The six-year graduation rate for all first-time, full-time students reached a high of 67.5%. The percentage of racially diverse students in the fall 2021 cohort increased to a record of 17.8%.

The board also passed five resolutions of appreciation for employees who are either retiring or stepping down from their current positions as of June 30, including:  

  • Susan Stocker, who will retire June 30 after being with Kent State since 1990. Stocker was the dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State University at Ashtabula for the last 21 years.
  • Kathryn Wilson, who will conclude 18 years as a faculty athletics representative on June 30. Wilson will continue to work as a professor and chair of the Department of Economics. 
  • F. Jack Witt, who will retire from his position as vice president for human resources. 
  • Pamela Grimm, who is retiring June 30, after working at Kent State since 1992. Grimm was a chair of the Faculty Senate and a professor in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. 
  • David Dees, who is stepping down as dean and chief administrative officer of the Kent State Columbiana County campuses, Salem and East Liverpool, will return to teaching as of July 1.

“I’m excited to return to the classroom, that’s why I came in higher education,” Dees said.“There’s nothing better than watching the student have the ‘aha moment,’ and I missed that as dean and so I’m really excited to go back to the classroom.” 

Alexandra Golden is editor-in-chief. Contact her at [email protected].