Friday, January 22, 1999

Regents question free tuition for foreigners

Practice cost Ohio $74 million in '96

The Associated Press

        TOLEDO — Providing foreign students free tuition at Ohio's public universities cost about $74 million in 1996. Now the state wants to know whether it was worth it.

        The agency that oversees Ohio's universities wants to know how many foreign graduate students are attending state schools free of charge.

        The Ohio Board of Regents wants the information by early February so it can determine whether the benefits of handing out free tuition outweigh the costs, said Richard Petrick, the board's vice chancellor for finance.

        “If it doesn't make sense, perhaps we should stop it,” he said Wednesday.

        He stressed that nothing would be decided until the survey is completed.

        Free tuition to foreign students has become a key com ponent for graduate schools. Most universities tie their assistance to specific fellowships, so students get their tuition paid and receive a payment so they can work on research or in the classroom.

        The board of regents said that in 1996, Ohio spent $465 million to subsidize graduate students, with $74 million of that amount going to foreign students.

        Last year, the University of Cincinnati began requiring that its more than 1,300 graduate scholarship recipients pay from 5 percent to 25 percent of their $10,359 annual out-of-state tuition.


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