Loading…
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Friday, 11/9/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

UT to freeze tuition, fees for undergrads, some also getting housing price breaks

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

In a move that ap­pears to be unique for an Ohio in­sti­tute of higher learn­ing, the Univer­sity of Toledo both will freeze un­der­grad­u­ate tu­i­tion and fees next school year and is of­fer­ing free or re­duced-cost hous­ing op­tions for some stu­dents in com­ing se­mes­ters.

The moves are meant to make at­tend­ing UT more af­ford­able and in­crease the uni­ver­sity’s re­ten­tion rate for re­turn­ing stu­dents, uni­ver­sity of­fi­cials said. Scott Scar­bor­ough, pro­vost and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for ac­a­demic af­fairs, said he didn’t ex­pect the uni­ver­sity to lose money be­cause of the de­ci­sions, but UT will move for­ward with the plans re­gard­less be­cause fam­i­lies are strug­gling to af­ford higher ed­u­ca­tion costs.

“What is the greater con­cern is that higher ed­u­ca­tion is get­ting harder and harder to ac­cess for a lot of fam­i­lies, es­pe­cially in this part of the coun­try,” Mr. Scar­bor­ough said. “Even if it makes it dif­fi­cult on us, I think it’s more im­por­tant to make it eas­ier for fam­i­lies in higher ed­u­ca­tion.”

The tu­i­tion and fees freeze ap­plies for all un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents, while the hous­ing ini­tia­tives are more spe­cific. The uni­ver­sity will of­fer free on-cam­pus hous­ing for any full-time stu­dent who trans­fers in the spring 2013 se­mes­ter. The hous­ing is good for that se­mes­ter only. In the fall, cur­rent full-time fresh­men who live on eeeeeecam­pus and re­turn to uni­ver­sity hous­ing as soph­o­mores for the 2013-14 ac­a­demic year will re­ceive a 25 per­cent dis­count on hous­ing costs if they have a 2.5 GPA or higher and have earned 24 or more cred­its.

Mr. Scar­bor­ough said there was a strong con­sen­sus among UT lead­ers to freeze tu­i­tion, a year af­ter the uni­ver­sity in­creased tu­i­tion and fees this year by 3.03 per­cent. The hous­ing moves are an ef­fort to at­tract and re­tain stu­dents who are mak­ing sig­nifi­cant prog­ress to­ward a de­gree; the uni­ver­sity has strug­gled to re­tain stu­dents af­ter their fresh­man year.

The hous­ing of­fer­ings will only be avail­able on a first-come, first-served ba­sis, Mr. Scar­bor­ough said, though res­i­dence hall beds have be­come more avail­able in re­cent years, which is partly what makes the hous­ing deals pos­si­ble. En­roll­ment at the uni­ver­sity dropped 5 per­cent this fall from the prior year.

The GPA re­quire­ment for re­turn­ing soph­o­mores was likely cho­sen as an in­di­ca­tor a stu­dent has a good chance of com­plet­ing a de­gree. At least 30 per­cent of UT fresh­men do not re­turn for the soph­o­more year.

“Any in­crease in re­ten­tion rate is a win-win for the uni­ver­sity and the stu­dents,” Mr. Scar­bor­ough said. “We are look­ing to im­ple­ment pro­grams that can move [re­ten­tion rates] in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion.”

Kim Nor­ris, a spokes­man for the Ohio Board of Regents, said she wasn’t im­me­di­ately aware of any other pub­lic col­leges or uni­ver­sities in Ohio that have an­nounced tu­i­tion freezes for next year or are of­fer­ing sim­i­lar hous­ing in­cen­tive pro­grams. But she said many schools are look­ing at ways to im­prove re­ten­tion.

“Chan­cel­lor [Jim] Petro has con­tin­u­ously said that Ohio as a whole has to do a bet­ter job ... help­ing stu­dents com­plete their de­grees and stay en­gaged,” she said. “So, any tac­tics that pro­vide val­ues for stu­dents and are stu­dent fo­cused and helps them com­plete their de­grees is a good start.”

Bowl­ing Green State Univer­sity hasn't made any de­ci­sions about tu­i­tion or fees for next year, uni­ver­sity spokes­man Dave Kielmeyer said. “How­ever, con­trol­ling costs and en­sur­ing a BGSU ed­u­ca­tion re­mains af­ford­able is a top pri­or­ity for the uni­ver­sity,” he said.

Con­tact Nolan Ro­senk­rans at: nro­senk­rans@the­blade.com or 419-724-6086.

 



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories