Monday, April 19, 2004

Tuition keeps rising at state's public universities

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Rising teacher salaries coupled with shrinking state funding are behind soaring tuition rates at Ohio's public universities, officials say.

So far this year, University of Cincinnati and Central State University have approved increases of 9.9 percent - the maximum allowed under state law - while the University of Toledo, Cleveland State and Shawnee State have proposed doing so.

Miami University approved an increase of 8.5 percent, and Youngstown State, an 8 percent increase. Ohio University trustees released a proposed 9 percent increase Friday. Ohio State University is expect ed to discuss tuition increases by mid-May.

James Plummer, Cincinnati's associate vice president for finance, said increases are unavoidable as salaries and benefits rise at the same time state funding shrinks.

"For the first time ever, students paid more for the cost of their education than the state was paying us," Plummer said. "We're bringing in $162 million from tuition this year and we're bringing in $144 million from the state."

Shawnee State President Rita Rice Morris said revenue from a growing student body isn't enough to pay for additional staff members, financial aid and improved technology.

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