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Published: Wednesday, 3/24/2004

MCO increases tuition 6% for fall

BY LUKE SHOCKMAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Tuition for all Medical College of Ohio students will go up 6 percent this fall after increasing 10 percent last fall and 11 percent the year before that.

Dan Morissette, MCO's senior vice president for finance and administration, said continuing increases - tuition will have risen 29 1/2 percent in just three years - hit students hard, but the school has little choice.

"We are experiencing more state cutbacks, and the cost of operating a business goes up every year," he said.

He added that the 6 percent increase, expected to bring in $1.1 million, is one of the smallest announced so far by Ohio colleges and medical schools.

"We're striving to mitigate or minimize tuition increases whenever possible," he said. "But we also have to face fiscal reality."

MCO has 580 medical students and 441 students in other areas of study, including nursing and graduate degree programs. In-state medical students will pay $17,808 annually after the increase. Out-of-state medical students will see their tuition jump 20 percent this fall to $43,800 annually.

Other students pay less, with amounts varying depending upon their areas of study. The tuition charges don't include general fees that all students pay. Those fees will also increase 6 percent, to about $1,962 annually for medical students.

MCO estimates that it has trained, fully or partially, about 75 percent of the physicians in northwest Ohio and a large number of the nurses. Some medical experts have worried that, with the rapid rise in medical school tuition, many students graduate with $100,000 to $150,000 in debt, causing more students to avoid lower-paying medical specialties. That could complicate an existing shortage of physicians in some key areas.

The MCO board of trustees approved the increases Monday.

The board also heard that its general counsel, William Connelly, will retire April 30 and return to practicing full time at his Toledo law firm, Connelly, Jackson, and Collier.

Mr. Connelly, 64, became the college's general counsel and vice president for government affairs in 2001. He is paid $183,600 annually. Before his stint as MCO's general counsel, he served as a member and chairman of the MCO board of trustees from 1992 to 2001.

Contact Luke Shockman at:

lshockman@theblade.com

or 419 724-6084



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