Tuition on the rise

Written by: Katelyn Freil

Another fall semester is starting, which means new classes and, of course, paying for those classes.

As UA students know, paying for those classes is becoming more expensive.

At the end of the last school year, the UA Board of Trustees approved a 3.5-percent increase in tuition and general fees, according to an article from the university’s online newsroom. The result is a $318 increase in annual fees for the average University of Akron student. A 3.3-percent increase to transportation fees will also be added.

The article said that the new increase in tuition is due in part to state
funding cutbacks of almost $30 million over two years. The money will go toward a project called Vision 2020, a plan for significant growth by 2020, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the university, according to the Vision 2020 website.

Many other Ohio universities have increased tuition this year as well, according to David Cummins, The University of Akron’s vice president for finance and administration.

“Even before this period, there has been a shift away from state support to increased dependence on tuition revenue,” Cummins said. “This is a national trend; however, it is more pronounced in Ohio than in most states.”

The transportation fee for The University of Akron increased by $5 for each student taking over five credit hours, according to Jared Coleman, the director of parking and transportation services. The money from the transportation fees goes to pay for repairs and improvements to the parking deck, as well as to the Roo Express shuttle service.

According to Coleman, about $1.5 million was spent on maintaining the parking decks in the past year, as part of a 15-year maintenance plan for the parking decks.

“We also maintain the surface parking lots, and those costs are not included in the figure,”
Coleman said, adding that that is a much less expensive endeavor.

While there are reasons behind the tuition and fees increase, many students can’t help but wonder why they have to keep paying more and more for their education.

Dr. William M. “Mike” Sherman, UA senior vice president and provost, said, “As much as we possibly can, we are trying to balance increased tuition with increased scholarships and financial support for students in need.
The cost of tuition must always be weighed against the value of a college degree, especially one that prepares you for a successful career.”