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Published: Thursday, 4/18/2002

New UT tuition hikes would raise fall costs by 13.9%

BY RYAN E. SMITH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The University of Toledo's board of trustees next week will consider a proposal to increase tuition and fees by nearly 10 percent beginning this fall, the largest increase permitted under an agreement with Gov. Bob Taft.

President Daniel Johnson on Wednesday will recommend to the full board an annual increase of $524, or 9.9 percent, just weeks after it approved a $188 annual hike that will take effect in the summer.

If approved, annual tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students in the fall will be $5,814. Combined with the summer increase, that is 13.9 percent more than the $5,103 students paid last year.

The proposed increase would be the largest allowed for the fall under a deal struck between state universities and Governor Taft in February.

Bowling Green State University likely will not consider fall tuition proposals until June, officials there said. In February, BGSU trustees approved increasing tuition and fees this summer by 7 percent, making the annual cost for in-state undergraduate students $6,136.

UT officials blame the increases on higher costs combined with flagging financial support from the state.

William Decatur, vice president for finance and administration, said despite the tight budgetary times, the university wants to hire faculty, improve its recruitment and retention efforts, and invest in academic programs.

Additionally, other public universities are enacting similar tuition increases, and UT does not want to lose its financial positioning relative to other state universities, he said. In the fall, UT's tuition and fees were sixth highest among the 13 state universities.

“It all requires resources,” Mr. Decatur said. “We would hope that the state would be a greater partner in that investment.”

Scott Frey, a freshman from Van Wert, said he sympathizes with the university's plight, given that the state reduced funding for higher education by 6 percent in the fall.

“It's not like they can pull the money out of thin air,” he said. “It has to come from somewhere.”

Rob Doyle, a freshman from Mentor, Ohio, expressed concern about the mounting costs of college. Still, he said, “I believe that in the long run, this is worth it. Education is priceless.”

But Katie McCarthy, sitting under a clear, blue sky outside the student union, heard about the proposed tuition increase and her face instantly clouded over.

“That's a lot of money,” the junior from Canton, Ohio, said. “I'm going to be paying that off for a long time.”



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