By Janie Southard
Wright State University-Lake Campus is taking steps to head off financial woes created by decreases in state funding. University trustees this week approved a 6 percent increase in tuition for the 2005-06 school year.
This is the second year in a row, that the tuition cost has gone up. It was increased by 6 percent last year, as well.
Full-time undergraduates at the Lake Campus can expect to pay $4,617 for four quarters, up $261 over last year. Similar students at the main campus will pay $6,864.
Credit hour costs are up $8 for next year at $142 per hour.
"But, Wright State is still among the least expensive schools in Ohio. Only Central State, Shawnee and Youngstown have lower tuition than we do," Lake Campus Dean Anita Curry-Jackson told The Daily Standard this week in her office. Citing the decrease in state assistance, Curry-Jackson said that during the 1980s, the school received $2.14 per every tuition dollar from the state. The present prediction for 2006 is 66 cents per $1.
Schools have only so many remedies available. Raising tuition is typical, according to Curry-Jackson.
However, she cited Sinclair Community College in Dayton as one school receiving funds through a human services levy, which also includes money for senior citizens and children's services.
"We want to keep higher education accessible to all students, especially the working-middle class," she said. That group, along with the non-traditional students, makes up the majority of Lake Campus students, she said.
Average age of the 1,000 students at Lake Campus is 25 for undergraduates and 33 for graduate students.
The dean emphasized that at around $20,000 for four years at Wright State, it's still a bargain.
Of 13 Ohio state schools, Miami University has the highest tuition at $9,585 per year; the University of Cincinnati is second with $8,882; Bowling Green is third with $8,556; Ohio University is fourth at $8,236 and The Ohio University is fifth with $8,085.
The others in descending order are: Akron, Kent, Toledo, Cleveland, Wright State, Youngstown, Shawnee and Central State bringing up the rear at $4,993 per year.
To take advantage of a recent reciprocity agreement between several Indiana and Ohio counties, Lake Campus officials are arranging new classroom facilities for two courses (English and History) at Fort Recovery High School. The classes are available to the public as well as high school students interested in advanced placement courses.
Basically running along the states' borders, six Ohio counties and 11 Indiana counties agreed to accept students from the neighbor state at in-state tuition rates, thus forgoing the out-of-state premium. The agreement will expire June 7, 2007.
"We also offer up to eight courses at Vantage Vocational School in Van Wert. Both these programs are designed to provide greater access for our students," Curry-Jackson said.