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Tuition has risen 7% in the past 2 years, students question why

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

As students schedule for second semester classes, they are signing up to pay 7 percent more on tuition than they would have two years earlier.
Ohio State’s tuition has increased 7 percent in the last two years as college tuition is rapidly rising nationwide.
Despite the cumulative increases, OSU President E. Gordon Gee said the university is doing a good job keeping costs low.
“In my five years here, I’ve presided over two years we didn’t have a tuition increase whatsoever,” Gee said, in a Sept. 10 interview with The Lantern. “We’re only the fifth-sized tuition in the state of Ohio.”
OSU’s tuition ranked fifth-highest out of six comparably selective Ohio public universities for 2013, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Colleges rankings.
In the past few years, OSU has only had a few tuition increases.
For the 2012-2013 school year, OSU instructional fees rose 3.5 percent, however a freeze on mandatory fees made the overall rate increase for students 3.2 percent, according to an OSU Board of Trustees document.
Annual tuition rose to $10,037 for in-state students and $25,445 for out-of-state students per year, not including room and board costs for students living in residence halls on campus. During the 2011-2012 school year, tuition was $9,309 for Ohio residents and $24,204 for non-Ohio residents, according to an OSU website.
Over the last five years, OSU has held tuition increases to an average of 2.7 percent annually, said Jim Lynch, a university spokesman.
“Because Ohio State tuition remains affordable, 43 percent of undergraduate students do not borrow money to cover the cost of their education,” Lynch said in an email.
The average increase in tuition and fees at national public four-year colleges for 2011-2012 was 8.3 percent for in-state students and 5.7 percent for out-of-state students, according to College Board’s Trends in Higher Education series.
“Ohio State froze tuition for three years within the past six years,” Lynch said in an email. “Under the leadership of President Gee, Ohio State continues to streamline operations and look for innovative ways to reduce costs and reinvest in its academic mission.”
Gee addressed how OSU has “changed the whole financial model” in the Sept. 10 interview, referencing the 50-year lease on campus parking as a way to keep costs on students low.
“The grand bargain has always been this: you raise tuition, you get a little bit of money from the state, and you put it on the backs of parents,” Gee said.
Many OSU students think tuition is fair compared to other Ohio schools.
“I think (tuition) here is good if you’re looking in-state because of all that Ohio State has to offer. It’s not something crazy, and you can tell where it’s going based on the stuff we have around campus,” said Katelyn Cassidy, a second-year in sport and leisure studies.
Some students think the increases between years are fair based on rising costs of other institutions.
“I’ve gone to schools where you have to pay tuition every year. I went to Catholic (high) school, so tuition increases almost every year to pay for things, so my parents are used to it,” said Olivia Moeller, a second-year in geography.
However, other students such as Megan Sobotka, a first-year early childhood education, said the tuition increases aren’t fair to students.
“I don’t really know the reason for the tuition increase. I feel like we’re not getting anything more than they did when the tuition was the same,” Sobotka said.
Others agreed, and said tuition increases make it difficult for many students to attend school and get jobs later down the road.
“Getting a degree is kind of standard procedure now. So I think when tuition costs raise every year it just gets harder and harder (for students),” said Matthew Arnold, a fourth-year in information systems.
OSU has the 10th highest net price of U.S. public four-year institutions, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
College tuition and fees in the U.S. have increased 1,120 percent over the last 30 years, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek graph.
Tuition payments at OSU are similar to those charged at other Ohio public universities.
In-state students at Ohio University pay $10,216 per year, while out-of-state students pay $19,180. In state-students at Miami University pay $13,067 per year, while out-of-state students pay $28,631. In-state students at Bowling Green State University pay $10,393 per year and out-of-state students pay $17,701.

Pam Harasyn contributed to this article.

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