Sunday, July 6, 2003

Tuition up after funds increase is not enough

By Liz Sidoti
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Students will pay hundreds of dollars more this fall as public colleges and universities raise tuition to offset the marginal increase they got in the state budget.

"There is an increase in support for higher education, and we appreciate that, but it won't pay for enrollment growth and it won't pay for inflation," said Rich Petrick, vice chancellor for finance of the Ohio Board of Regents, which oversees the state's public institutions. "Higher education tends to be the balancing well in state budgets, and that is continuing to some extent."

After losing hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts during the past two years, public colleges and universities received an increase of less than 1 percent - or $2.44 billion - in the budget year that began Tuesday and less than 2 percent - or $2.48 billion - the following year.

The budget also limits tuition increases to 6 percent, but allows another 3.9 percent boost if that money goes to technology upgrades or scholarships for needy students.

Lawmakers also said higher education was one of the few areas that saw gains in the budget.

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