Jan 16, 2007

University of Toledo Announces Tuition Freeze

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University Hall, the University of Toledo (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.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice pic, BTW Mike. You have hit the nail square on the head - whatever they don't nail us for in tuition they'll stick it to us in fees. How about an "energy consumption fee" or a "facility usage fee" to go along with the half-a-dozen others we already pay?

-JD

Mark said...

Well said, Mike.

I will say this though: whatever the rationale for the freeze, it is undoubtedly more about strategy than caring for the students. What is the strategy though? Is it:
-Finally admitting that Owens is stealing too many valuable students from UT with low tuition costs?
-An attempt to advertise the move as "caring about students" in an attempt to draw them away from colleges like OSU, Kent, Cleveland State, and BGSU?
-An excuse to cut more programs by combining the above two rationales with the ever-popular, "There's just no money coming in from the State"

It is usually correct not to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but as an A&S grad, I have long been wary of UT's chopping block ways.

historymike said...

Thanks, JD. Just took the pic this morning. I wanted to get a backlit picture of the clock tower, but I forgot to change my ISO setting and they turned out crappy.

Perhaps Lloyd Jacobs will take JD's revenue-enhancing ideas to heart and cut him in on the proceeds.

historymike said...

Agreed, Mark, that state universities in Ohio are now attempting to survive at the expense of each other. Only the vampiric institutions will thrive in this environment, as it is a race to the bottom to bleed each other of students.

Oh wait, I forgot - it's "healthy competition," not vampirism. The free market zealots seek to turn our universities into truly capitalist institutions.
(sarcasm alert)

Hooda Thunkit said...

"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."

With the recent election the dems could easily accomplish this, buy I would bet no.

Nothing to base this on except instinct. . .

The Screaming Nutcase said...

"The free market zealots seek to turn our universities into truly capitalist institutions."

Well, that's only appropriate, seeing as how universities have become just the stepping stone to better jobs, not a true place of higher learning. For God's sake, my undergraduate degree is in TV Production. :)

Lisa Renee said...

I was happy to see the tuition not increase but I agree 100% on how assinine some of the additional fees are. Having three that are attending UT, it really hits home.

Anonymous said...

My take on this is that with this new administration's first experience in labor negotiations with UT faculty, it has decided to play hardball and to resort to Nixonian dirty tricks. How can faculty now bargain for raises without looking like bad guys? Dr. Jacobs seems a cross between a horse whisperer (eg: "Don't worry, everthing will be fine") and a corporate efficient expert (read hired gun) sicced on UT unions by its own strictly business trustees ...