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Tuition at most Ohio universities to rise again

– Tuition at 11 of Ohio’s 13 traditional, four-year public universities will rise this fall.

Most of the universities chose to boost tuition as much as state limits would allow this year: 2 percent or $188, whichever is higher.

Some students complain that the increases are too much, but university advocates say the state’s cap keeps increases to a fraction of what they were in past years.

The average tuition increase at Ohio’s public universities was 9 percent from 1996 to 2006. Since 2010, the most that public schools have been able to raise tuition in a year was 3.5 percent.

“It’s not normal that the cap would be this low if you’re looking at a relatively long history of the state,” Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council, which represents Ohio public universities, told The Columbus Dispatch, “What you’re talking about is barely inflationary growth.”

The total cost of paying for college remains high in Ohio compared with public universities in other states, according to new rankings by the U.S. Department of Education.

The report included fees beyond tuition, which aren’t regulated.

One Ohio school, Miami University, made the top 5 percent of U.S. public schools with the highest tuition, with a net cost of $24,674 a year, based on 2011 data. But on the list of schools with the highest overall costs, five Ohio schools were among the top 25.

Ohio State ranked No. 9, at $20,000 a year. The University of Cincinnati was No. 16, ahead of Kent State University (No. 19) and Ohio University (No. 22).

Although it’s too early to calculate total prices for next school year, costs outside of tuition again are going up at many Ohio schools.

For instance, campus housing fees are rising past the national inflation rate, 2.1 percent, at Ohio State, Ohio University and the University of Toledo. An extra fee charged to out-of-state students at Ohio State will increase by 5 percent.

“This particular year we chose to keep the tuition side of it flat. In future years, we’ll look at decreasing or keeping flat other components,” said Joseph Steinmetz, the provost at Ohio State.

He and other university leaders said that rising costs, coupled with a long-term slide in state funding, have led them to place a greater share of the budget burden on students.

Although most schools boosted tuition as far as the state would let them this year, three didn’t: Bowling Green State University froze tuition and fees on campus, Ohio State University kept tuition the same for in-state students, and Ohio University increased tuition by 1.5 percent.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch.

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