The University’s Board of Trustees today approved a 3.5 percent increase to tuition and general fees for undergraduate and graduate students, and a 6 percent increase for law students.
The changes — to affect students on the Akron campus, Summit College, Wayne College and the Medina County University Center — will begin May 17, the first day of the first summer term. It is not anticipated that any further changes to tuition or general fees will be recommended for the fall 2010 or spring 2011 academic semesters.
The decision to increase tuition was not made lightly. For months, university leaders have been evaluating various budget models for the coming fiscal year, which will begin July 1.
“We understand the effect that tuition increases have on students and their families,” said Scott Borgemenke, UA’s chief financial officer. “But after months of analysis, we recommended the increase to the Board because we believe strongly that the additional funding will benefit students.”
The benefits include the following:
- The increase will help UA sustain the number of student services and class sections offered at a time when demand is high because of rising enrollment.
- With the increase, UA will be in a stronger position to retain excellent faculty members.
- The increase will help stabilize the university’s finances as UA enters a period in which state and federal support is expected to decline. This year, state and federal dollars are paying about one-third of the tuition for a typical in-state student.
The tuition increase here is in line with the plans of most other Ohio public universities, based on discussions with budget directors and fiscal officers from across the state. Ohio’s public universities are permitted to raise tuition 3.5 percent in 2009-10 and 3.5 percent more in 2010-11. UA increased tuition 3.5 percent at the beginning of the current term.
Ohio State has not raised tuition yet this year, but it will raise tuition and fees a total of 8.5 percent by next fall (3.5 percent this summer, another 3.5 percent for fall plus a new fee for the Ohio Union). Likewise, the University of Cincinnati is planning to increase tuition to 7 percent in two stages by fall.
Comparing undergraduate tuition-and-fee rates at the 14 public universities in Ohio, UA falls toward the middle, its rate slightly less than those at Kent State and Ohio State.
To help students, UA plans to add $2.5 million to its scholarship pool for the academic year that will begin in August. This year, UA and the UA Foundation awarded $27 million in scholarships.
Most of the increase for law students will be set aside to fund a new building for the School of Law.