BPC recommends increase in branch campus tuitions

Ohio University’s regional campuses could increase tuition by 1.5 percent next school year, which would bring in an additional $700,000 in revenue from the five branches.

OU’s Budget Planning Council decided to make that recommendation to President Roderick McDavis after hearing a presentation from regional campus officials at Friday’s meeting, said John Day, associate provost for academic budgeting.

Once McDavis makes his final budget recommendations June 3, the Board of Trustees will vote whether to approve the budget at its June 24 meeting. Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal allows state colleges and universities to raise tuition and fees by as much as 3.5 percent.

If the Board of Trustees approves the 1.5 percent tuition hike, it could cost regional campus students anywhere from $65.93 to $75.51 more per year.

Tuition prices vary between campuses, and students who have more than 96 hours total pay more than those who have fewer.

“(The campuses) all develop tuition rates independently,” Day said, adding that tuition on the Eastern and Southern campuses is cheaper because those campuses were originally competing with other schools across the Ohio border that had lower rates.

The regional campuses will lose $3.9 million in federal stimulus money for next year, according to budget reduction scenarios released last week.

The possible tuition increase would account for about $700,000 of a total estimated $3.4 million gap, Day said.

“The (regional campuses) are getting a subsidy cut, so they had to find a way to deal with it,” Day said. “… They’ve had enrollment increases previously when the economy went bad, but sustaining that upward trend in enrollment is unlikely.”

OU’s budget council also recommended a $150 flat parking fee for employees on the Athens campus next year. Revenues from the fee, estimated to equal about $400,000, would go to Transportation and Parking Services, which is becoming a self-supported auxiliary unit next year.

Every employee paying the fee will receive a $150 salary increase from OU next year to cover the cost of parking. OU will also cover increasing health care costs for employees next year, which could total $2.9 million.



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