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Board of Trustees to vote on tuition increase

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The Ohio University Board of Trustees will decide the fate of tuition rates for incoming freshman Friday morning at their bimonthly meeting.

If the measure is approved, members of the class of the 2020 who qualify for in-state tuition will pay  1.7 percent ($196) more for tuition than current freshmen, while out-of-state students will pay 5.6 percent ($500) more. Members of the class of 2019 will not have a tuition raise thanks to the OHIO Guarantee plan, and those in previous graduating classes will not have any tuition hikes according to the Board’s agenda.

The Board is also considering raising both the cost of room and board, 3.5 percent and 2 percent respectively.

The decision for a potential increase came from the Budget Planning Council, an advisory committee for President Roderick McDavis. The Council voted 13-2 during a closed-door meeting in December, with one member abstaining.

One of the people who voted for an increase was Gabby Bacha, a senior studying political science and the president of Student Senate. Bacha said she voted for the increase for a “multitude of reasons,” and that she was on the fence for most of the week leading up to the meeting.

“As a student that’s definitely a difficult decision to make,” Bacha said in an email. “There was an economic context to the situation that I took into consideration. I took into account inflation and the fact that the state of Ohio has been giving less and less money to public universities.

Bacha said she also considered goals of the university, including higher faculty compensation and repairs for many of the maintenance problems around campus. She stands behind her choice even though it may be unpopular with some of her fellow students.

“I think the increase will obviously effect students financially, although they will be paying similar prices and facing similar increases from almost all of our peer institutions,” Bacha said. “I ultimately believe the quality of education will be better for incoming students to the university.”

Potential incoming students aren’t so certain, though. High school seniors who will be affected by the changes say the tuition increase will likely play a part as they make their final decisions on where to go to school.

Claire DeBruin, a senior at Athens High School, said the cost of college is a huge factor for her choice in college. She plans to attend the University of Akron’s Honors College due to merit scholarships, but she was considering Ohio University prior to her acceptance.

I have a brother and a sister who are both in college currently and with rising costs in colleges, we are all having to find other ways to earn money,” DeBruin said in an email. “I think that to raise the tuition at OU is not really reasonable because although many students in our area have the opportunity to receive free tuition because their parents are professors at the university, many in the counties surrounding OU are some of the poorest counties in the state. I think that it would be a shame if tuition was raised because many students could lose the opportunity to attend the university.”

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