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International student fee to be one of two non-discounted costs for Ohio State’s Summer Semester

The Ohio State Office of International Affairs in the Enarson Classroom Building. Despite a 25 percent reduction in tuition and fees for summer sumer semester, international students will not see a similar decrease in the international student fee. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State announced once again that all students will receive a 25-percent discount on tuition, as well as fee reductions for Summer Semester. While this lower price is set to save students thousands of dollars, a similar drop in price will not occur for the international student fee.

The international fee is paid by international students to support university-wide strategic investments and provide resources for international students, such as pre-departure orientation in China, Ben Johnson, an Ohio State spokesman, said in a statement.

The fee ranges from $498 to $1,464 per semester, depending on when an international student enrolled at Ohio State. While the majority of mandatory fees at Ohio State will be cut in cost for the Summer Semester, the international fee will not.

In fact, all but two mandatory fees will be reduced for Summer Semester, according to Board of Trustees documents. For example, the recreation fee is typically $123 for Fall and Spring semesters and will be $82 for Summer Semester; the Student Union Fee is $74.40 during the Fall and Spring semesters and will be $51 for the Summer Semester.

Along with the international fee, the $13.50 COTA fee will remain the same, as well.

The number of international students enrolled in summer increased from 2,760 students in 2014 to 2,847 students in 2017, according to data provided by Ohio State.

The university weighs several factors to set the international fee, including the different ways that domestic families support higher education, Johnson said.

The fee has tripled since 2014.

“Ohio families pay state taxes that support Ohio State and other public schools, and Americans pay federal taxes that support research, Pell Grants and student loans,” Johnson said.

Multiple existing services for international students were expanded and new programs were created to help ensure continued academic progress with the revenue from the international student surcharge, Johnson added.

For example, the English Conversation Program, a program that brings international students and domestic students together to engage in conversation and cultural exchanges throughout the semester has grown from 100 students to 400 students.

Yinglin Hu, a first-year in finance and international student, said she felt pressured by the high tuition she has already had to pay, which included $1,464 in international fees in addition to the regular fees non-Ohio residents pay. Together Hu said her tuition added up to be $26,877.

“I was really surprised [by the increase in international surcharge] because it was really expensive to me,” Hu said. “I divided the fee I paid in total to every day and it is almost $200 a day so I need to make sure I don’t miss any classes anymore.”

Hu said she wanted to take classes this upcoming summer because she heard they were cheaper and she wants to graduate earlier. To her, the non-discounted fee is just something to be dealt with in order to do so.

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