YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio college students could wind up with some big cost savings if the state senate gets its way with the two-year budget.
From 1996 to 2006, the average yearly increase at Ohio’s public universities was 9 percent. Since 2010, state mandated tuition caps have limited increases to 3.5 percent.
Instead of capping tuition increases like in years past, Ohio Senate Republicans want to freeze tuition at all state universities for two years. It is part of their changes to Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal.
So what would a tuition freeze mean for Youngstown State University? Neal McNally, interim Vice President for finance and administration, said this proposal is actually a good thing because while tuition wouldn’t rise, state funding would.
“We look forward to keeping tuition flat and we won’t raise tuition if that is what the state wants us to do and we are very appreciative of the fact that they are recognizing the burden that places on us by putting more money into the funding formula,” McNally said. “We are actually pretty excited about it. The infusion of state funds into the higher education funding formula is a very positive thing. We certainly appreciate the senate president’s concern over the cost of higher education.”
Youngstown State is already known for being one of the most affordable public universities in Ohio. Last school year, tuition at YSU was $1,600 below the state average.
But the university has been facing multi-million dollar budget deficits. McNally said the budget gap at YSU is actually decreasing quite a bit.
Last year, it was about $10 million. This year, they are looking at $3 million.
The tuition freeze is still just a proposal. The Senate and House must come to an agreement upon changes to the budget plan before anything is signed into law.