Kasich proposes college tuition cap
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 00:02
Gov. John Kasich announced a new plan that will bring two changes to universities in Ohio.
The first is a 2 percent cap on annual tuition increases at public universities. The second is a change in the criteria for which universities are awarded money from the government. Universities will now receive awards based on graduation rates instead of enrollment rates, according to the new plan.
The new plan is a significant reduction to past tuition increases, according to David Creamer, vice president for Finance and Business Services.
“Historically the tuition has risen at 6-7 percent in the past, per year,” Creamer said.
Last year’s tuition increase was 3.5 percent for Ohio residents and 3 percent for out-of-state students, according Creamer.
Recently Miami’s Board of Trustees has been again discussing a new tuition increase.
“We’ve been doing some long term planning and our assumption was a 2 percent increase, so Kasich’s plan will not change what numbers we were thinking about,” Creamer said.
According to Creamer, Miami’s Board of Trustees has been planning for this lower tuition raise to be competitive in its affordability.
“In recognition of the importance of affordability we’ve learned to operate the university at smaller tuition increases through the management of costs so students aren’t asked to pay more,” Creamer said.
Miami is predicting a $6 million dollar surplus this year, but it’s not enough to cover everything, according to Creamer.
“Certain things cost more each year,” Creamer said. “There are added costs to provide education experiences and compensation costs are also rising. Surplus results from costs being controlled and maintained.”
Also, healthcare and technology are added costs that the university did not have to spend much on prior to the 2000s, according to Director of University News and Communication Claire Wagner.
Wagner said she believes the university will be able to budget the new changes.
“We’re leaner now,” Wagner said. “Even with the global economy the way it is we have been working to achiever more efficiencies in what we do while maintaining a good student experience.”
The change in reward criteria for universities to receive rewards will have a neutral affect on Miami, according to Creamer.
“It’s not just based on graduation rates,” Creamer said. “At some schools some students are less likely to graduate, so the rewards will go to those schools where students are more at risk. Miami currently has the highest graduation rates in Ohio.”
The tuition cap will, however, have an effect on the plan currently being discussed by ASG for a tuition lock-in, according to Creamer.
With a tuition lock-in, tuition wouldn’t rise at any point during a student’s term at Miami, according to Creamer. They would pay the exact same dollar amount each year they attend Miami. Currently there are tuition increases each year, so students coming to Miami don’t really know what they will be paying each year.
The reason for the lock-in plan is that there is more predictability according to Creamer.
“If you’re trying to put together a budget you’re not trying to guess what you’ll be paying in the future,” Creamer said.
A 0 percent tuition increase has happened in the past at Miami, according to Wagner, under the Platinum Plan. Miami is looking at this plan again, she said.
In 2004 under the Platinum Plan, tuition was locked in for a maximum of five years excluding summers and workshops. It gave students the ability to plan ahead financially and provided “peace of mind about upcoming college expenses” according to the plan description on Miami’s website.
Sophomore and member of Student Senate Michael Vostatek agrees.
“I think that for the sake of parents and students in an unpredictable economy, going back to the lock-in would provide more stability and make a lot of financial sense,” Vostatek said. “By doing that, everyone knows what they’re getting into over the next four years and won’t be forced to transfer because of rising tuition costs.”
In 2004 the flat plan was $22,546 per year for up to five years. If students did not choose the flat plan they would pay $19,642 the first year and larger amounts in future years as tuition increased.
“It is still important however to look at all possible angles and make sure that no matter what, students are being given the best deal they can to attend this university,” Vostatek said.