The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees increased fees, room and meal plan rates for the incoming freshman class at a meeting Friday.

“We had a small increase in room and board. We still are the lowest of the residential campuses in the state,” President Rodney Rogers said. “The families and students coming in fall 2020 will know exactly what their room and board is for all four years that they are here, which I think is the real power of the Falcon Tuition Guarantee.

The trustees voted unanimously to increase room and board.

This is the third cohort of students in the Falcon Tuition Guarantee plan, under which the rates for room and board will remain unchanged for all four of their undergraduate years. Fees are not included in the program.

“The freshmen will know what the cost of their education will be for each of those four years,” Trustee Chair Daniel Keller said. “We benchmark that closely against all our peer institutions and we feel we have a very cost effective program in place.”

With the changes, BGSU remains the best value out of the 13 state public universities for combined room and board rates, at $9,662, the trustees said.

Room rates will increase an average of 2.8% for its three-tiered system ranging from basic to deluxe rooms. The standard basic double room cost will increase 2.7%, or $80 a semester, or $6,050.

Meals plans will increase by 3.5%, or $3.92 per week for the Bronze Plan, to $3,612 which is used by the state for comparison purposes.

The proposed total cost, including tuition, for in-state BGSU students for 2021 would be $21,728. Estimates show that the most expensive of the comparable schools would be Miami University at $29,974.

Trustee Richard Ross cast the lone dissenting vote against raising fees.

“We’ve approved the tuition increase this year,” he said. “We approved the board increase. It seems to me that’s where it ought to be. To add on fees on top of that, we need to be aware of the cost of college education and make it as affordable as we can. I just thought the fees were too much of an add-on.”

Fee increases are in the College of Business, College of Education and Human Development and the flight school. The Master of Athletic Training has a new one-time fee of $675 for entry into the program. Speech-Language Pathology has a fee increase from $200 to $300, for supplies and technology maintenance.

There are 18 fee increases at the flight school. The Flight Evaluation cost will increase $20 to $1,030. The most expensive fee is for the Advanced Commercial Flight Instruction course which will go from $14,360 to $14,650. There are also six hourly rate changes that range from 2.1% to 3.3%.

In other business, the trustees approved the new Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering.

The program launching this fall is the only one of its kind in Northwest Ohio and will offer students a holistic approach to design and improve complex systems in manufacturing, logistics, retail services and health care.

“The systems engineering program joins our software engineering program that we have in our mechatronics, which is our robotics program. We continue to build out in the applied STEM fields with huge job opportunities and career opportunities for students,” Rogers said. “I just am so pleased with the growth that I’m seeing in these fields, while we’re meeting the needs of the workforce and making sure we’re responsive to employers.”

Trustees also gave the go ahead for the first steps in developing a nursing skills lab in the Business Administration Building, once the College of Business moves into its new home in the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center. Bond funds totalling $300,000 have been identified for the project. The skills lab will serve the growing number of BGSU nursing students and other students in the health sciences.

“As a public university we have a special obligation to help meet the critical workforce needs of our state,” Rogers said. “Our new nursing skills lab will help us address the growing shortage of nurses.”