For the third year in a row, tuition for in-state students enrolled at Ohio State will be frozen for the upcoming school year, but tuition for non-Ohio residents is set to rise.
The Board of Trustees approved tuition, mandatory fees and room and board rates during its June meeting on Friday. The costs, based on an affordability plan proposed by President Michael Drake in an email to faculty, students and staff in May, calls for tuition for in-state students to be frozen at $10,037 — the same price it has been since the university froze in-state tuition for the 2013-14 school year. Out-of-state tuition is set to increase 3.1 percent, which would make tuition $27,362 for the 2015-16 academic year.
Tuition for current international students is set to rise by 3 percent, which would be the same dollar increase as out-of-state students. International student tuition, under the affordability proposal, would be $28,362 for the 2015-16 academic year. New international students will have to pay a 6.4 percent increase over the current international rate, raising tuition to $29,302.
In-state students make up approximately 79 percent of OSU undergraduate students, out-of-state students make up approximately 13 percent and international students make up approximately 8 percent.
“As a land grant institution, Ohio State has a special role in the state,” Geoff Chatas, chief financial officer and senior vice president, said at a Finance Committee meeting on Thursday. He added that the “modest increase” in out-of-state tuition is an “exceptional achievement for a public institution of (OSU’s) size.”
“(The 3.1 percent increase for out-of-state students) allows us to attract the best students and generate revenue,” Chatas said.
In-state graduate student tuition for the 2015-16 school year is also set to be frozen, along with mandatory fees. The nonresident surcharge for out-of-state graduate students is set to increase 5 percent. Mandatory fees for out-of-state graduate students will remain the same, though.
Certain professional and Board of Regents-approved master’s programs will charge a differential instructional fee using market-based pricing. This differential instructional fee will be paid by both resident and nonresident students, but there will be no increase in the base instructional fee for these programs.
In addition to the in-state tuition freeze, the costs of mandatory fees, as well as on-campus housing and dining, will also be frozen for all undergraduate students, the board decided.
Fees include the $372 “general fee,” which funds non-instructional student services like counseling and health support; the $75 “student activity fee” for entertainment events and student organizations; the “recreational fee” for recreational sports activities, facilities and programs; the $27 COTA fee; and the $149 Ohio Union fee. These are all mandatory fees, but none have increased over the past five years.
Course-based, learning technology and program fees are set to be frozen for undergraduates for the 2015-16 school year and no fees will be added.
Housing costs, which have not been frozen for the past 10 years, are also set to be frozen under the affordability plan. Since the approval of the North Residential District Transformation project in 2012, housing rates were projected to increase up to 6 percent per year for 10 years, and for the most part they have. The average room-rate increase for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 was 6 percent, 3.9 percent in fiscal year 2014 and 5 percent in fiscal year 2015. Monthly housing rates for Buckeye Village and Gateway Studio Apartments will increase $10 and $26, respectively, for the 2015-16 school year.
The new meal plan system, which includes seven dining plans ranging from $1,600 to $4,516 was also approved on Friday. OSU and University Dining Services announced in April that the block program would be eliminated and replaced with one that is anchored by “weekly traditional visits.” Under the new plan, “Dining Dollars,” which are automatically added to students’ BuckIDs when they pay for their plan, will roll over until graduation. Each plan includes a different amount of Dining Dollars ranging from $100 to $900. Students will also receive a 10 percent discount when purchasing food with the Dining Dollars, which can be used at any OSU dining facility.
Other actions approved by the board include:
The formation of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology
The board approved the merger of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and the Department of Pharmacology to form a new department, the Department of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology.
Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Steinmetz said he felt the merger of the two departments made sense with changes in the fields of biochemistry, pharmacology and molecular and cellular biochemistry.
“These are two departments that have been linked for years and will be a much stronger, much more effective department combined,” Steinmetz said.
The naming of the Center for Brain Health and Performance
The board accepted a $10 million pledge from Stanley and Joan Ross and approved the naming of the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Center for Brain Health and Performance.
The Rosses’ gift will fund brain health and performance research and education, as well as clinical services and space, according to a Tuesday press release by OSU.
The board also approved naming resolutions of the Geraldine Smith and Arthur Winfough Jr. Executive Board Room in the Agricultural Administration building; the Price Student Lounge, formerly the Art Lounge, in the Ohio Union; and several spaces in the Fry Hall Pre-Clinic area.
Price increase for Ohio State Student Health Insurance
The board approved a 5 percent increase in the cost of the university’s comprehensive health plan for domestic students. The new cost of insurance will be $1,277 per semester.
Although OSU students are required to carry health insurance, they are allowed to choose health care providers outside of OSU in lieu of using the university’s health care plan.
The WilceCare Supplemental Plan, which can be added by OSU Columbus campus students in addition to their primary health care insurance plan and provides prepaid coverage for medical care delivered exclusively at the Wilce Student Health Center, will be offered at the same rate of $225 a year in fiscal year 2016.
OSU launches affordability grant initiative
Drake announced in his president’s report an affordability grant program, which will provide an additional $15 million in need-based aid to OSU students in the coming year.
12,400 students will qualify to receive the affordability grants as they participate in the program, beginning in August, according to an OSU statement released Friday.
$1,500 will be awarded to students qualifying for both Ohio and federal aid, and $1,000 will be awarded to students who qualify for state aid only, Drake said.
“College affordability is one of the most important and pressing issues of our time,” Drake said in the release. “While we work as a nation on long-term solutions, Ohio State is digging deeper to stem the costs for those who proudly wear the scarlet and gray.”
Through an initiative by the Office of Business and Finance, $1 million was designated to be made available for this year’s scholarship fund as a result of the renegotiation of the university’s office supplies contract.
The need-based grants will assist more than one-third of in-state OSU undergraduates attending the Columbus campus, Drake said.