Proposed budget includes tuition hikes
Tuition rates will increase 3.5 percent for undergraduates and graduate students if President Lloyd Jacobs’ recommended budget is accepted by the Board of Trustees today.
This increase meets Ohio’s tuition cap, which mandates public colleges and universities cannot raise undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees more than 3.5 percent.
Tuition for those in PharmD, Medical Doctorate, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Law programs, as well as out-of-state surcharges for Law students, will increase 4 percent.
Also, scholarships will be cut by about $69,000 due to a projected decline in enrollment.
President Lloyd Jacobs said this was due to a $7.6 million decrease in state funding and in order to adjust for inflation.
Jacobs said while the university tried to reduce student bills by with projects like the restructuring of dining services, they must maintain a certain standard for students.
“For those that would say this is unfair, I would agree with them, absolutely,” Jacobs said. “This is the product of a larger issue. The cost of higher education has risen too high and too rapidly in our country.”
According to the College Board’s 2011 report on the price of higher education, average tuition rates for a four-year college have risen at an average of 5.6 percent a year since 2001.
Despite the price increase, Jacobs said UT is still “the best education bargain in the country.”
“Higher education is still a good investment,” Jacobs said. “Hopefully our students can be comforted in knowing that this pain will not be for nothing.”
Students like Taylor Meek, a junior majoring in criminal justice, are not comforted.
Meek, who pays about $9,600 a year, said universities around the country are overcharging students, but UT could be more helpful.
“It is the state’s fault because funding for higher education seems to be shrinking and shrinking every year, which forces places like UT to raise tuition,” Meek said. “But, at the same time, instead of raising tuition on students that are already struggling to pay for their college education, UT could find other areas in the budget to cut from,” Meek said.
Meek said investments like the digitized parking system are unnecessary, calling the last year’s parking project “a joke.”
“UT paid $175,000 for a system that failed and is still not working perfectly,” Meek said.
While some stress about fees, Student Government Vice President Chris Dykyj said reduced state funding and declining enrollment are unavoidable factors in UT’s tuition increase.
Dykyj will not pay this year’s tuition due to his position in SG but he said a tuition bump is the price to pay for attending “one of the leading schools not only in Ohio, but the United States.”
“With all the wonderful improvements the university has given us, and their best efforts to give us the most beautiful and modern campus possible, our tuition is going to increase,” Dykyj said.
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