Overhaul To Make State Schools More Affordable May Not Work, Some Say

Sharon Rieger's picture
Monday, August 15, 2011

One of the questions surrounding Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro’s plan to overhaul Ohio’s 14 four-year public universities goes to the heart of whether more Ohioans can achieve their dreams of higher education: Will the plan make college more affordable?

The average undergraduate tuition and fees at the state’s 14 main campuses climbed to $9,217 in fiscal year 2011, up 75 percent over fiscal year 2002, according to the Board of Regents. That puts Ohio tuition costs well above the national average of $6,397.

In a 2008 report card issued by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, Ohio earned an F in college affordability.

Adjusted for inflation, the national average cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board at four-year institutions climbed 115 percent between 1980 and 2010 and 36.8 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

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