OU Board of Trustees approves tuition increase

ATHENS — The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase during last week’s meeting.

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer walked the trustees through various forecasting assumptions underpinning the FY2018 budget planning during a joint meeting of the academics and resources committees on Thursday. Shaffer also shared information on tuition and state appropriations — two primary revenue sources available to public institutions to support instructional missions.

Shaffer stated that increases in these areas, or lack thereof, directly correlates to an institution’s need to impact the other.

Benoit also noted that the State of Ohio has experienced the lowest rate of tuition increases during the period of FY2008-FY2015 (Ohio is tied with three others), while its rate of state appropriations changes has shown modest increases.

“Tuition and state appropriations are our two primary revenue sources, but are also important to understand in the context of one another because SSI exists to subsidize the cost of education for the residents of the state of Ohio,” Shaffer said.

Such budget discussions continued to illustrate the university’s stated commitment to a multi-year budget planning process and greater transparency of potential costs and revenues. Shaffer stressed that, although current budget numbers are preliminary, beginning these discussions earlier in the year allows for more informed and thoughtful strategic planning at the college level under Responsibility Centered Management.

The budget discussion likewise provided context as the trustees considered increases to tuition, room and board rates.

The Board went on to approve increases of 3.3 percent to the undergraduate guaranteed tuition and fee rate for the incoming cohort; 3.5 percent to Residential Housing rates; and 2 percent to Culinary Services rates.

These increases only apply to the incoming Athens Campus cohort under The OHIO Guarantee, and the new rate will be locked for that group for the next four years. Consistent with the principles of the program, students within an existing OHIO Guarantee cohort will not experience any increase to their rates.

The Board also approved a 2 percent tuition increase for continuing students who were enrolled prior to the implementation of The Ohio Guarantee.

All increases are subject to final provisions in the State of Ohio’s 2018-19 Biennium budget bill.