Wright State to increase tuition, fees by maximum allowed by law

University to reschedule budget hearing portion of meeting.

Most students at Wright State University will pay more for their education this fall after the school’s board of trustees approved a measure hiking the cost of tuition and fees.

Wright State trustees voted Friday to increase tuition for incoming students at the school’s main campus and lake campus by 3.5 percent.

The spike amounts to an increase of nearly $162, meaning tuition for new students from Ohio will cost just over $4,788 per semester. Out-of-state freshmen will pay about $9,521 per semester, an increase of around $322.

Students who are in at least their third year at WSU will see their tuition increase by 2 percent. In-state third and fourth year students will pay an additional $87 for a total of $4,452 while non-residents will pay $9,115 marking almost a $179 spike.

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Students who are entering their second year at Wright State will not see any changes to their tuition and fees because of a price guarantee program that started last fall. Those second-year students paid a 6 percent increase in 2018 when trustees approved the program that hiked tuition before locking it in for four years for the class of 2022.

Juniors and seniors from out-of-state will pay a 3 percent increase in tuition and fees, as will students in the school of professional psychology and doctor of nursing practice, according to the resolution approved by trustees. Professional fees for students studying in the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State will increase by 6 percent this fall.

A $100 per-credit-hour fee for students earning a master’s degree in business administration will be phased in over the next four years, according to the resolution. All students will now pay an “optional” $2o fee per semester for counseling and wellness services.

Wright State is also seeking permission from the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education to raise the number of credit hours permitted under its full-time tuition rate from 11 to 12, according to the resolution approved by trustees.

The tuition and fees increases are the maximum currently allowed under Ohio law, according to the resolution approved by the board. WSU chief business officer Walt Branson said he does not yet have an estimate of how much money the tuition and fee hikes will generate for the university.

“We’re still looking at that,” Branson said. “It depends on what enrollment is…that will tell us.”

But, any additional revenue from tuition and fees will likely be welcomed at WSU, which is attempting to rebound from a financial crisis.

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Wright State reduced spending by $53 million during fiscal year 2018 in an attempt to correct $131 million in overspending over the previous five years. Tuition is the university’s largest single source of revenue.

Whatever revenue Wright State is able to generate from the price hikes has the potential to be partially leveled out by an anticipated enrollment decline. Enrollment at Wright State for next fall is down 13.6 percent so far, according to a week-to-week report from the university’s office of institutional research.

The undergraduate student headcount for this fall so far is 9,086, compared to 10,517 students enrolled 11 weeks out from the start of the 2018 fall semester. These numbers do not include the Boonshoft School of Medicine, which had about 480 medical students last year.

Though Wright State still has months to boost enrollment before fall semester, it will likely decline year-over-year because the report’s numbers are down, spokesman Seth Bauguess said earlier this week.

Wright State trustees were expected to discuss the university’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal Friday.

However, the budget hearing is being rescheduled after a closed-door executive session scheduled for Friday morning continued longer than expected. Trustees met behind closed doors for four hours, where they were set to discuss personnel matters.

The school’s budget hearings have become a focal point on campus in recent years as WSU leaders have attempted to turn around the institution’s finances. At the hours-long hearing, administrators usually review the previous year’s budget and go into detail about Wright State’s anticipated revenue, expenses, budget cuts and enrollment, among other things.

“The board wanted more detail and that’s fair given where we’ve been,” Branson said. “We really want to try to look into the future and try to look at the budget over a longer period of time. So the board was asking for more information that we just ran out of time to discuss.”


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