BUSINESS

Ohio University Debates Guaranteed 4-Year Tuition Rate

02/11/2013 04:50 pm 16:50:32

Ohio University is considering implementing a guaranteed tuition rate that would protect students from tuition increases during their four-year undergraduate careers.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that OU first began considering the "frozen tuition" concept in November. The OU Board of Trustees may vote on a proposed overhaul of the school's tuition model in April.

At a meeting Thursday, the OU Board of Trustees heard from the school's Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President For Finance Stephen Golding, who are studying how guaranteed tuition models have worked at other institutions.

The University of Texas at Dallas, Central Michigan University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are some of the public schools that have implemented frozen tuition models. According to FinAid.org, private Ohio schools like Urbana University, the University of Dayton and Hiram College all offer guaranteed tuition rates.

Golding said that unless there is an extenuating circumstance, a student's tuition would be raised past the guaranteed rate if they enroll for a fifth year. The Logan Daily News reports that OU officials see this as a way to incentivize students to graduate on time.

State law limits the annual tuition increase for public universities in Ohio to 3.5 percent. It is one of just a handful of states with caps on tuition hikes.

Several private colleges, unbound to budgets based on state appropriations, have cut or frozen tuition in recent years, The Huffington Post previously reported.

The Ohio Business Roundtable, a group that includes executives from about 80 companies, recently penned a letter urging Gov. John Kasich (R) to press for education reform this year.

In September 2012, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) floated the idea of a statewide frozen tuition policy, and the chair of the Texas Senate's Higher Education Committee said the group will likely pursue the idea again in the future.

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