Ohio State trustees hike tuition for incoming freshmen, out-of-state online students
Ohio State University's Board of Trustees approved tuition increases for this year's incoming freshmen, a massive surcharge for out-of-state online learners, an interim budget plan for the summer months, discussed what campus will look like this fall and finalized a number of other actions at their meetings this week.
Committee meetings, which were held both in-person and virtually, took place throughout the week culminating with a full board meeting late Thursday afternoon.
Here's a look at some of the board's actions:
Tuition increases for incoming freshmen and out-of-state online learners
In-state freshmen will see a 3.8% increase, a change of $418, in the cost of tuition and general fees. The cost per year to attend Ohio State will now by $11,936, which will be frozen for the next four years.
Returning undergraduate students will not see a tuition increase. Since 2018, incoming freshmen classes have had been included in the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee, which essentially sets in-state tuition costs for each class and freezes those rates four years.
Compared to other Big Ten schools, Ohio State is the seventh most affordable university, the same as last fiscal year. It's the second most-affordable of Ohio's six selective universities.
Out-of-state students will see a 5% surcharge increase in their tuition costs, a change of $1,099. Those students will now pay $35,019 a year in tuition and fees, moving Ohio State from the sixth to the seventh most affordable Big Ten school for non-residents.
The board also approved a $19,493 surcharge for non-resident students who take all of their classes online, up from just $5 a year ago. Non-resident students taking all of their Ohio State courses online will now pay $34,717 a year, compared to $14,806 last academic year.
The change more closely matches the surcharge for non-resident students who attend classes in person. The online non-resident surcharge makes Ohio State the seventh most affordable Big Ten school for out-of-state online programs. Last year, it was ranked the most affordable.
Tuition costs for residents are the same regardless of whether a student takes classes in-person or fully online.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1% of traditional Ohio State students took all of their classes online. That number jumped substantially to between 49% and 54% of non-resident students taking all online classes last academic year.
In addition, nine graduate and professional programs will add or change some of their fees. They include the College of Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and the Fisher College of Business. There will be no change in the cost of tuition or fees for resident graduate students however.
Interim budget approved for July and August
The full board approved an interim budget plan for July and August of approximately $546 million in revenue and $603 million in expenses.
The state's biennial budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, which includes funding for Ohio's colleges and universities, is still being worked out by lawmakers at the Ohio Statehouse. The state budget will solidify what subsidies for higher education institutions and set in-state undergraduate tuition parameters.
Ohio State's interim budget will allow the university to keep operating from July 1 to August 31 until the state's budget is approved. An operating budget for the fiscal year 2022 will be finalized and adopted at the Board of Trustees next meeting in August.
This is the third consecutive year the university has passed an interim budget.
Changes to campus for in-person learning this fall
The board's Academic Affairs & Student Life committee discussed what campus will look like for students this fall as Ohio State transitions back to more in-person activities.
Melissa Shivers, Ohio State's senior vice president of student life, and outgoing executive vice president and provost Bruce McPheron told the committee that all decisions for this fall will be based on public health guidelines.
Vaccinations are at the core of the university's fall plans, McPheron said. Fully vaccinated students will only have to be tested monthly for COVID-19 as opposed to weekly for unvaccinated students. Masks will still be required in classrooms, but the outdoor mask requirement will be removed.
Class sizes will also begin to increase. At least 75% of classes will be in person, and classroom densities will be on a tier system, with fewer students in larger classes.
A traditional academic calendar will resume and include regular fall, Thanksgiving and spring breaks.
Move-in day for on-campus students will still take place over multiple days, but students living in residence halls will be allowed to have visitors, more programming and more open common spaces this fall. Dining halls, fitness and recreation centers, and student programming will also allow more in-person options.
Two emeritus status revocations
Two professors had their honorary emeritus title revoked for misconduct.
Dr. Samson Jacob, who was a member of the College of Medicine's Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics, committed research misconduct in his lab related to 14 allegations. The College of Medicine Investigation Committee found that Jacob deviated from accepted practices and recommended the revocation of his emeritus status, which he received in 2016.
Bradley Peterson, a member of the Department of Astronomy from 2006 to 2015, lost his emeritus status because of sexual misconduct allegations. Peterson was found by an Office of Institutional Equity investigation to have committed "persistent and pervasive" sexual harassment during his time at Ohio State.
Emeritus status is awarded to faculty members who have "sustained academic contributions to the university," according to Ohio State's Rules of the University Faculty. That status, however, can be revoked by the Board of Trustees if an emeritus faculty member "engages in serious dishonorable conduct" that causes harm to the university's reputation.
Richard Strauss, the former university doctor who was found by investigators hired by Ohio State to have sexually abused at least 177 students between 1979 and his retirement in 1998, also had his emeritus title revoked by the board.