12:00 AM

Trustees consider lowest tuition increase in 21 years

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State University Board of Trustees heard a first reading of the 2007-2008 tuition proposal at their meeting today (5/4) that reflects the biennial state budget bill approved unanimously this week by the Ohio House of Representatives. The House Bill, which now heads for the Senate, calls for a 3 percent cap on resident undergraduate tuition in FY 2008 and a tuition freeze the following year.

Tuition and fees for resident undergraduate students on the Columbus campus are proposed to rise from $8,667 to $8,928 for a three-quarter academic year, an increase of $261, making it the lowest percentage increase in 21 years.

The most current legislation proposes a $6 million increase in the State Share of Instruction (SSI) in FY 2008 and a $30 million increase in FY 2009. The proposed 10 percent increase in SSI for FY 2009 will be the highest increase in 23 years.

“Our elected officials are beginning to make higher education a key element in rebuilding Ohio's economy,” said William J. Shkurti, Ohio State's senior vice president for business and finance. “All great journeys begin with a first step, and this is a tremendous first step in reversing a 30-year trend of declining state support for higher education.”

“We especially appreciate the substantial increase in state support proposed for 2009 in the House bill. However, it's clear that we will need to continue to diversify revenues and identify operating efficiencies,” he said.

With a 3 percent increase in resident undergraduate tuition in place, Ohio State will still be less expensive than nearly all of Ohio's public universities with competitive admissions, including Miami, Cincinnati, Bowling Green and Ohio University.

Resident graduate tuition and fees for the Columbus Campus are recommended to increase 6 percent for a full-time student. Out-of-state graduate and undergraduate fees are also recommended to increase 6 percent. In addition, there will be differential instructional fee increases for some graduate and professional programs, ranging from 6 to 13.3 percent, effective Fall Quarter 2007.

The new tuition and fee recommendation includes a mandatory Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) fee of $81 per quarter, an increase of $3 per quarter. The board will formally vote on tuition and other fee recommendations, such as room and board, parking and user fees, at the board's June or July meeting.

“We are committed to maintaining access to a higher education for all qualified students, regardless of family income, by increasing financial aid to offset tuition increases,” said Shkurti. “Ohio State will continue to be the leading public institution in the state in providing need-based scholarships.”

Since no action was required from the board on Friday, Shkurti stressed that the proposed tuition levels are preliminary and subject to change.