Our View

“The University of Akron might not raise tuition next year. If it doesn’t, it will be less a goodwill gesture and more of a pact with Gov. Ted Strickland. Whatever it is, we hope UA gets on board. It’s not the cure for what ails higher education, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.”

The University of Akron might not raise tuition next year.

If it doesn’t, it will be less a goodwill gesture and more of a pact with Gov. Ted Strickland.

Whatever it is, we hope UA gets on board.

It’s not the cure for what ails higher education, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

In exchange for not raising tuition, the state has pledged to increase funding next year by 5 percent.

Strickland crushed then-secretary of state Ken Blackwell in the gubernatorial bid last November, riding in on feel-good wave of promises about reform and progress.

He kept his word. Sort of.

Ohio, which received an F for higher education in a report last year, is beleaguered by rising tuition and decreased funding. The end result is pricing more and more citizens out of college educations.

Strickland knows this and wants to reverse that trend. It’s likely that university president Luis Proenza wants the same thing.

But it’s a simple matter of dollars and cents.

Tuition goes up every year because the University of Akron sucks down cash faster than a Hoover.

We cannot even imagine what UA doles out in energy costs for the campus. When you factor in salaries – administrative, staff and faculty, and the other expenses of running a university, you’re talking millions upon millions of dollars.

So when funding doesn’t keep up, you turn to the most obvious source – tuition increases.

Will Strickland’s plan work? Maybe in the short term.

Let’s not forget, though, when the state increases higher education funding by 5 percent, that money doesn’t just magically appear.

So, while students might not pay any more to attend UA, taxpayers probably will. After all, that’s probably where the money will come from.

It also remains to be seen what the university will do about student fees. So, if tuition doesn’t go up but fees double, that’s not really a good deal for students.

Clearly, this plan has some holes. We hope that, for students and taxpayers, it works.