UA in for a freeze

“In the midst of continuous student and campus growth at the University of Akron, one thing will remain the same this year. The cost of tuition will not rise. This is just in time, as UA will also experience an increase of students this fall. The number of incoming freshmen is expected to surpass that of last year’s record-breaking count.”

In the midst of continuous student and campus growth at the University of Akron, one thing will remain the same this year. The cost of tuition will not rise.

This is just in time, as UA will also experience an increase of students this fall. The number of incoming freshmen is expected to surpass that of last year’s record-breaking count.

Tuition and fees at UA will cost $8,382 for the 2007-2008 year, according to a UA press release in July. In comparison, tuition and fees for an undergraduate at Kent State University will cost $48 dollars more, at $8,430.

This action is possible because Ohio’s governor and the leadership in the General Assembly have increased the state’s investment in public colleges and universities in the newly approved two-year budget, said president Luis Proenza in a special edition Zipmail.

I congratulate them for recognizing the critical role that the state plays in keeping tuition rates affordable and making Ohio’s universities accessible to all.

Proenza said in a phone interview that he expects the Ohio budget to allow the freeze to last through next year.

As best we know, given the economic indicators, we should be able to do that both years, he said.

In order for the legislature to provide funds, UA cannot raise tuition, he said.

While the freeze is good news to students already attending UA, Elizabeth Stroble, senior vice president and chief operating officer said more students than ever will be in attendance this fall to take advantage of the freeze.

According to July 1 estimates, the total student headcount will be up 3.4 percent and total student credit hours will be up 6 percent. The number of applications has increased 2.6 percent and there is a 13-percent increase of freshmen directly admitted to a degree-granting college.

These figures are already higher than last fall’s final total of applications and direct admissions, Stroble siad. This leads us to expect a projected increase of 5 percent in our number of incoming freshmen.

Stroble believes academic opportunities, successful athletic programs, residence hall programs, living-learning communities, the Honors College and the tuition freeze are all a part of a dynamic campus life that draws students to UA.

Students taking advantage of facilities such as residence halls, however, will not find a freeze on room and board rates.

Students living on campus will see a 4 percent increase in room rates and a 6 percent raise in meal plans.

Proenza does not think this will be a problem.

We believe these modest increases are necessary to sustain our renowned academic programs, and our renewed and expanded campus facilities and technology, he said in a July press release.

Contrary to common belief, Proenza said the freeze is not connected to the rise in fees.

It has to do with the cost of operating and maintaining these, Proenza said. These things are operated independently.

We cannot by law take tuition dollars into supporting these facilities. Many people assume when we build a building we are going to raise tuition. This is not true. It is totally separate from tuition.

When higher education was originally put forward, the state was making an investment in you, Proenza said.

It’s not a deal with the university per se, it’s a deal with you, that’s what public education is supposed to accomplish.

That improvement in your education has real future economic benefits to the state.

Proenza also said an investment in higher education can benefit the state more than economically.

Not only will you pay more taxes, you’ll reimburse the state, have fewer health problems and be less likely to get in to trouble with the law, Proenza said. A public investment in higher education creates a public investment in the people.