By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer
University of Cincinnati students will pay 9.9 percent more in tuition next fall, the third-highest dollar increase since 1979.
The boost was approved Tuesday by UC's Board of Trustees as part of the $801.1 million budget for 2003-04. Full-time, in-state students will pay $7,623, compared with last year's $6,936. Out-of-state students will pay $19,230, or an 11 percent jump from $17,319.
In the past three years, tuition for in-state students has increased $2,286, or 42.8 percent.
"It looks to me like I'm going to take out some more student loans," said Ellen Aultman, a 21-year-old senior marketing student from Troy, Ohio. "My dad paid for the first two years, and now I'm on my own. It's kind of shocking to me.
"All I think about is all the debt I'm going to have when I graduate. The only thing that worries me is the $11,000 debt I'll have when I get out. I never thought I'd have to do that."
The message might seem like a broken record, but the tuition increases are a result of dwindling state subsidies, said Dale McGirr, UC's vice president for finance. Since 2001, the state share of instruction funding has decreased by $17.7 million. And because of that decline, the burden of paying the university's fixed expenses and new initiatives will be made through tuition increases and small increases in other income, financial officials said.
What that means is that when classes start in the fall, the net tuition and fees students pay will become the largest portion of general fund revenues for the first time in the history of the university.
"It's the national trend where state support has dropped from a majority to a minority," McGirr said.
State appropriations make up 23 percent of this budget while students contribute - through tuition, fees and other charges - 26 percent.
"It's enabling us to hold our own," UC spokesman Greg Hand said. "The levels of increase we're talking about are basically inflationary increases. It simply covers the additional cost of what we're doing now."
Miami University, Thomas More College, Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University have all set tuition for the fall. Xavier approved a 6 percent increase in early 2003, which brings the annual tuition to $18,850 for full-time undergraduate students.
Citing increased spending and a dip in giving, Thomas More officials announced a 9.5 percent tuition increase in April. It became effective this summer and took tuition from $14,200 to $15,549 annually.
NKU approved the highest percentage increase of any Tristate institution - 16.4 percent for in-state students. It was the largest annual increase in the five-year tenure of President James Votruba. Tuition for full-time students who are out-of-state residents increased 7.1 percent. For in-state students, the annual cost went from $3,216 to $3,744. For nonresidents, it rose to $7,992, up from $7,464.
Miami trustees voted in April to increase tuition 9.9 percent, raising the cost for in-state students from $7,600 to $8,353. The cost for out-of-state students jumped 10.9 percent, from $16,324 to $18,103.
Emanuel Schneider, a 20-year-old junior political science major at UC, said the tuition bump is just one more hit to the morale of students across campus.
"I'm going to be making sure I get out in four years," the Finneytown native said. "It's just additional pressure on you to graduate sooner."
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