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Commentary: Ohio State students deserve an explanation for tuition increase

Students deserve an explanation as to why their checkbooks are getting thinner and thinner each year.

Last week, The Lantern reported on the possible (read: probable) conclusion that Ohio State tuition is likely to increase.

Hype around football regulations and athletic department announcements caught the spotlight, and the administration took what I can only assume was less of a rebuttal than expected.

If I remember correctly, touring the OSU campus as a graduating high school senior, I was told there was a tuition freeze, that what I would pay my first year was exactly what I would pay my graduating year at OSU.

But in June 2011, OSU announced there would be a 3.5 percent tuition increase for the 2011-2012 school year. Due to a freeze on mandatory fees, the hike constituted a 3.3 percent total cost increase for students.

Then last week OSU announced there is likely to be a 3.5 percent increase in tuition for next year. With another freeze on mandatory fees, total cost to students is again going up, this time by 3.2 percent. I’m confused, what exactly has changed?

Yet, I still haven’t seen a quote from President E. Gordon Gee or any of his spokespeople as to why exactly this is happening.

I understand the economy is at a low, and the students are going to cover for it, but I think we are owed an explanation.

I am willing to pay the about $400 extra because OSU is a great place to attend school, but the students deserve a reason for the increase.

The recent hype around student-athletes receiving free iPads is not connected to the tuition hike as the athletic department is independently-funded and will cover the cost of the iPads. But questions about the budget have left me wondering.

If OSU can find the thousands of dollars to supply their athletes with iPads, shouldn’t they find money somewhere in their budget to help their paying students out? I understand the athletic department is self-sufficient, but something doesn’t seem right. Don’t we pay for football tickets? Basketball tickets? Apparel?

We are owed an explanation before BuckeyeLink tells us exactly how much we owe.

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