Owens eyes summer tuition increase
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Friday, 31 January 2014 11:33
Tuition may be going up again at Owens Community College, but nothing will be finalized until March.
The board of trustees' finance committee met Wednesday and among the items of discussion was tuition.
Currently, the college charges $149.60 per credit hour, or $4,188.80 for students who enroll for 28 credit hours a year.
Under consideration is an increase to $153.17 per credit hour, or $4,288.80 for full-time students.
The $100 increase comes from wording in this past biennium budget, which gave colleges the OK to increase tuition 2 percent, or $100, for each of the two years of the budget.
Owens did increase tuition by $100 effective fall 2013 to the current amount.
Any proposed increase would take affect this summer rather than this fall, however.
A second increase is OK as Owens' fiscal year 2014 is summer and fall 2013 and spring 2014.
That change is to bring the increases more in line with the college's fiscal year, said Laurie Sabin, director of finance for the college.
The fall increase was to help offset the loss of state foundation money combined with a drop in enrollment.
Sabin asked committee members for the flexibility to explore the proposed amount.
The number of full-time students affected by the increase is small, however.
According to Jennifer Fehnrich, executive director of Government and Community Relations and Marketing at the college, only 10.1 percent of the students enrolled at Owens take 14 or more credit hours.
Any student who takes less than a full-time schedule will see an increase of only $3.57 per credit hour, if the increase is approved.
Also discussed Wednesday was the proposed state funds for Owens capital projects for the next two years.
The Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission recommends Owens receives $1.90 million for Kingsley Hall renovations, $2.85 million for the final phase of the Heritage Hall renovation, and $750,000 for College Hall renovations.
"We're pleased with what we're getting," said Dr. Mike Bower, Owens president.
Fehnrich pointed out, however, the funds won't be confirmed at least until May or June, after the resolution passes through both the state House and the Senate.
Sabin also said this is all the college would receive for the two years of the current state budget.
The Kingsley Hall planned work is to adapt office space into veterans services, career services and workforce development training space; plus an event space for large groups that is ADA compliant for such programs as orientation and transfer fairs.
The Heritage Hall plans include renovating to make 30 multi-discipline "smart" classrooms to replace classrooms eliminated with the College Hall renovation.
The college asked for $12.25 million for College Hall, so the much smaller amount recommended has put a halt to any immediate plans for that building. The hope was to use the funds to create a "student-focused center" that included admissions, advising, bookstore, career services, common computer labs, disability services, international student services, financial aid, student activities and student government, among others. A common gathering space for students also was planned.