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It will cost students a little more to attend Youngstown State University starting in the fall.
By a vote of 7 to 1, the Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a $177.2 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year that includes a 2.4 percent tuition increase for full-time undergraduate students living in Ohio. They will pay $3,950 per semester, which works out to an extra $94 per semester over last year. Graduate student tuition is also going up.
And all students taking six or more credit hours will be required to pay a mandatory $115 transportation fee per semester, which replaces the optional $120 parking permit fee.
Trustees say the increases are necessary, since state funding continues to shrink. The budget is $1.5 million, or 1 percent, less than the 2013 budget. Over the last two fiscal years, the budget has shrunk by $3.8 million or 2.1 percent, according to a news release from YSU.
“The university cannot survive by not increasing tuition. Still, at the moment, YSU, as a regional university, is still the lowest tuition cost anywhere in the state of Ohio,” said YSU Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Sudershan Garg.
To back up his claim, Dr. Garg presented a chart of projected annual tuition rates for 2014 at 11 comparable universities. YSU is the lowest at $7,900 per year, while Miami University of Ohio is the highest at $13,711.
Trustee Harry Meshel was the lone ‘no’ vote on the tuition increase.
“I just think you can always find some additional funds. You may not be able to find all you want or need, and tuition increases may be necessary at times, but that’s the last place I want to go,” Meshel said.
YSU also will expand its scholarship funding and Affordable Tuition Advantage program to out-of-state students.
On the expenditure side of the budget, personnel costs will decrease 1.5 percent, in part due to the fact that the positions of nearly 120 retirees have not been filled, resulting in $7.5 million in temporary vacancy savings. Nineteen positions have been permanently eliminated, saving $1.1 million. Also, in FY 2014, employees will pay increased contributions for health insurance, the release states,” the release states.