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Ohio State tuition freeze won’t help out-of-staters

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

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A tuition freeze for in-state students in the coming academic year awaits approval from the Ohio State Board of Trustees, but the decision won’t affect graduate and out-of-state students.
OSU’s President E. Gordon Gee proposed a tuition freeze for 2013-2014 last month, but it only applies to in-state students. The distinction has left some out-of-state students with questions as to why.
Erik Gaarder, a first-year in Italian from New York, said as a freshman he is already in debt and would rather not add more.
“It’s already expensive enough for (out-of-state students),” he said. “Why do we need an increase?”
Audrey Schultz, a third-year in English and political science from New York, said she understands why in-state students would experience the tuition freeze but doesn’t like the fact that she would be excluded.
“As my tuition goes up, I do resent that a little bit,” she said. “Even though I understand that certainly in-state students get the tuition they do because their parents have been paying taxes to the state of Ohio for a long time.”
Schultz said one of her first concerns was that her own tuition would increase even more since the university was not increasing in-state tuition.
Vern Granger, associate vice president of Enrollment Services and director of admissions, said in an email the proposal is under advisement.
“Preliminary discussions regarding tuition and fees are presented at the April Board of Trustees meeting for consideration and re-sent to the Board in June for a vote,” Granger said.
The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for April 4 and 5.
He also said the in-state student tuition freeze is being discussed currently, and out-of-state and graduate programs will be discussed “in the next few months.”
Granger said OSU has a variety of different scholarships available to students who meet certain requirements. One of those scholarships, the National Buckeye Scholarship, is exclusively for non-resident students and increased to $12,000 from $8,000 in 2011, Granger said.
“The university continues its focus to find alternative funding strategies to help address college affordability,” he said.
A resident student currently pays $10,037 compared to the non-resident domestic student price of $25,445, a difference of more than $15,000, according to an OSU tuition and fees website.
OSU ranks third lowest in out-of-state tuition among Big Ten schools with only Minnesota and Nebraska cheaper for non-resident undergraduates, according the universites’ respective websites.
The $15,000 differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition places OSU as ninth lowest in the Big Ten (not including Northwestern, which is a private university) when comparing the difference in tuition of resident versus non-resident students. Minnesota has the smallest gap of $5,250 while Michigan has the greatest separation of more than $26,000.
OSU tries to pull more than just American students and looks globally.
Shaoxuan Li, a fifth-year in industrial systems engineering from China, said he thinks the university neglects international students even though their money goes toward the development of the school.
“I think getting people from Asian countries is mostly money-motivated because a lot of us want to come here, and, ‘OK sure, come here, pay money,'” he said.
For students like Schultz, a tuition freeze for non-resident students would be welcomed, but it wouldn’t affect whether she continues attending OSU.
“I understand my tuition pays for my education and pays for the exemplary education I get here at Ohio State,” she said. “So I wouldn’t necessarily want my education or the opportunities I am afforded to be sacrificed just for my tuition not to go up.”

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