|BGSU trustees increase tuition, fees by 3.5 percent|
|Written by By JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Saturday, 03 October 2009 06:48|
Students attending Bowling Green State University for spring semester 2010 will be paying higher tuition and general fees following the Board of Trustees' action Friday afternoon.
Upon the admitted "reluctant" recommendation of the financial affairs/facilities committee which met Friday morning, the trustees unanimously approved a 3.5 percent increase in tuition and general fees for both Bowling Green and Firelands campuses.
That means a $159 hike per semester for BGSU undergraduates, causing a standard school year of two semesters to increase to $9,378 for full-time students. Graduate student tuition at BGSU was not raised. Two semesters at Firelands will expand from $4,228 to $4,384 with a $78 increase per semester.
The hike is expected to generate $2,186,886 during the spring semester for BGSU and $108,780 for Firelands. The funds will help offset the anticipated shortfall in state share of instruction funding from Columbus next summer.
Sherideen Stoll, vice president for finance and administration, told trustees and guests at the financial affairs/facilities meeting that public colleges and universities were "spared" during three reductions in the state's budget in calendar year 2008.
But going into fiscal years 2010 and 2011, "with fewer options to consider, it was not entirely unexpected they looked to the state share of instruction to cut. I also remain concerned about the possibility of mid-year budget reductions occurring, especially with how our economic future unfolds."
Stoll said the recommendation to increase tuition and general fees was a reluctant one, but noted four Ohio universities had already approved increases for spring semester. A listing of four-year, Ohio public universities showed Youngstown State, Wright State, University of Toledo and Kent State have increased their tuition and fees by 3.5 percent (Kent State was 3.51 percent). She said all but one of the remaining eight confirmed they were also looking at increases.
The committee also recommended the Board of Trustees increase the excess credit fee, from $50 per credit exceeding 18, to $150 per credit. The fee has remained the same for the last five to 10 years. Stoll said this would affect about 60 students per semester who take anywhere from 19 to 28 credits.
Committee members expressed amazement at hearing some students are taking that many credits. A full-time student course load per semester is 12 to 18 credits.
"We have some very bright students because they're making very high GPAs," stated Stoll. "We wanted this fee more in line with other institutions."
"The board does not take it lightly ...," Trustee David Levey said of the increase during the committee meeting. "We withheld the increase for the first part of this year while many peer institutions did increase their tuition. The board takes this very seriously. It affects all our students, all the other institutions." He commended BGSU President Dr. Carol Cartwright, present at the meeting, for "taking it as slowly as we could."
During the main trustee meeting in the afternoon, the recommendation was unanimously approved with no discussion. But guest Sundeep Mutgi, representing Undergraduate Student Government, reported a resolution came up in USG against the increase. Though it didn't pass because the majority of students "realize the university's need," the vote was relatively close.
"Students will watch to see a return on investment," he said, noting they want to see where the money is going. "This is not a decision taken lightly. Thank you for making a difficult decision in difficult times."
Cartwright updated trustees on numerous activities around campus, including pleasure that BGSU was named one of the top universities in the nation. She will give a State of the Union address Oct. 15 in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union at 10 a.m.
During reports by representatives from the classified and administrative staff councils, plus faculty, it was noted the three groups had volunteered 5,152 hours of their unused sick time to a "Leave Bank," allowing coworkers with illnesses who had used up their sick time to make use of the bank.
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