Updated Fri, Jun 21, 2013 9:41 am
Annual tuition increases may end soon for future Bobcat students as Ohio University’s Board of Trustees look into guaranteed tuition.
If the university adopts such a change, students entering under guaranteed tuition will incur a one-time base budget adjustment, meaning tuition could increase over 5 percent.
Guaranteed tuition is when institutions lock in a tuition rate for a student's four years of instruction.
At the last meeting, the board voted to make several increases in tuition and fees. These include a 1.6 percent increase to instructional and general fees and a 5 percent increase to the instructional fee and non-resident surcharge for students at the Heritage College of Medicine.
Lower division students attending the regional campuses will soon see a 2 percent increase while upper division students will see a .8 percent increase to tuition.
The board also approved at its last meeting a 3.5 percent increase to room and board fees, a .5 percent increase to meal plans, and to maintain the Athens campus graduate tuition and fees and nonresident surcharge fees at fiscal year 2009 rates.
The decisions sparked controversy on campus in April. Over 100 student protesters flooded the green to speak out against tuition rates.
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With a guaranteed tuition model, the Board of Trustees would set a constant tuition rate for four continuous years beginning with the term of a student’s initial enrollment on campus. The fixed-rate would be for any sequential combination of four fall semesters, four spring semesters and four summer sessions.
McDavis and other members of the board say such an approach would be a financial incentive for targeted groups, reduce student debt, enhance student recruitment, and allow for predictable budget planning for students and their parents.
McDavis, a proponent of guaranteed-tuition rates, says the model is still in its planning stages.
"I want to make it clear that we intend to have multiple conversations on campus this year with students, faculty and staff as we walk down the path of developing an implementation plan that creates for us the opportunity for us to move forward,” he said.
Tomorrow the Board of Trustees will meet to vote on a resolution regarding guaranteed tuition. A vote in favor would say that under the condition that it is approved by the Ohio Legislature and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, then the board would adopt the OHIO tuition guarantee program and “take all steps necessary for implementation of a tuition program including approval by the Board of Regents no later than the Fall of 2015.”
The board will gather tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Margaret M. Walter Hall in the Governance Room 104.