Ohio State has projected the university’s tuition and fees revenue after financial aid to increase nearly two percentage points in the coming fiscal year.
The expected 1.9 percent rise would bring the tuition and fees revenue after financial aid total to $866.7 million during fiscal year 2016, said Rob Messinger, a spokesman for the Office of Business and Finance, in an email.
The majority of that increase was paid by out-of-state and international undergraduate and graduate students, according to the August 2015 Board of Trustees interim finance report. The rest of the money came from increases in in-state professional school fees, including law, dentistry and optometry.
The finance report states the increases will partially cover inflation and university costs, adding tuition and fees make up 70 percent of university revenue to cover the university’s academic mission. The remainder comes mostly from the state of Ohio’s academic subsidy.
Out-of-state and international students make up about 25 percent of OSU graduate and undergraduate students said Amy Murray, university spokeswoman, via email. The remainder are students from Ohio.
In-state tuition and fees have been frozen since the 2012–13 school year, Messinger said. However, out-of-state tuition and fees have increased every year since then, from $25,451 per year in 2013–14 to $27,362 per year in the 2015–16 school year.
“Despite the comprehensive freeze for in-state students, the university needs to continue to invest in the quality that students deserve and expect,” Messinger said.
Returning international students’ tuition is set for $28,364 for fiscal year 2016, according to the June 5 board meeting minutes. First-year international student tuition was set at $29,304.80, a 6.4 percent increase from the previous year, though the numbers can vary individually.
However, Messinger said those students who were out-of-state or international are still getting a good deal. He said that when OSU’s tuition costs are compared to those in the Big 10, OSU still is one of the best schools for out-of-state student costs.
“That data shows that Ohio State remains a good value for out-of-state students,” Messinger said. “Last academic year, the university was third most affordable among Big 10 schools for out-of-state tuition and fees.”
A chart in the June 2015 board finance report shows out-of-state tuition was lower than Ohio State’s at only two other Big 10 schools for fiscal year 2015: the University of Nebraska, at $21,990, and the University of Minnesota, at $20,810.
Zihan Shi, a first-year international student in international relations, said her friends had told her that OSU was a cheaper option than some other nearby schools, including Indiana University at Bloomington.
“I’m international, so I have seen the increases, but the university has to do this,” Shi said.
In-state student Max Fernandez, a first-year in biomedical science, said he didn’t understand why only out-of-state students would see tuition increases.
“It seems like a bad strategy to increase it for out-of-state students,” he said. “I don’t know why not just increase it across the board.”
Messinger said it was unclear whether another tuition freeze for in-state students would occur next year. However, he said the university was committed to affordability.
“We know that affordability is a central issue in higher education, and Ohio State has taken a leadership role nationally in finding creative solutions,” Messinger said. “While we cannot promise that every cost will be frozen in the future, students should know that any increases are being used to invest in the quality of their education.”