(Toledo, OH) Bucking a two-decade long trend in Ohio, the University of Toledo announced yesterday that it will not increase tuition for undergraduates in the fall semester of 2007.
"Tuition increases have become an all-too-common occurrence in higher education," said UT President Lloyd Jacobs. "And while the topic is complicated and reasons for the increases are certainly legitimate, we have created a burden on our students and their families, limiting your opportunities to shape your future."
The university appears to be banking on an uptick in enrollment to meet its revenue needs.
"We will be working during the next several months to leverage this decision and bolster enrollment," said Lawrence J. Burns, university vice president for enrollment services, marketing and communications. "Our enrollment team believes this represents a tremendous opportunity to increase accessibility and create opportunities for success."
The plan to freeze tuition, however, does not address such ancillary student costs as general fees, technology fees, and parking permits, which average over $1,000 per year per student. One suspects that these will be an area of revenue enhancement for the university, or that a heftier tuition hike will simply be tacked on to the Spring 2008 bill for students possibly lured by the "zero percent tuition increase" tagline.
Ultimately, though, an institution such as the University of Toledo is at the mercy of state lawmakers, who have steadily cut state subsidies to higher education over the past twenty years. Until the state's elected officials recognize the importance of funding state universities as a part of economic development, we will continue to see a declining Ohio.