Kent State is the latest tax-supported university in Ohio to hike tuition by the state-mandated limit of 3.5 percent this fall.
The university announced Thursday that undergraduate tuition per semester will grow by $158 to $4,673 and graduate tuition by $168 to $4,971 at its eight campuses in Northeast Ohio.
''Kent State is dedicated to ensuring student success and continues to be one of Ohio's most affordable public universities,'' President Lester Lefton said in a news release.
The university cited record enrollment and declining revenue from the state as the reasons for the increase, approved just as the state legislature hammered out the details of a two-year budget that begins today. .
Based on the state budget approved this week, Kent State will get about $16 million less in the coming academic year, the university said. Media reports pegged the loss at Ohio State at $60 million.
The tuition increase at Kent State will provide about $10.4 million, based on current enrollment, the university said.
The state used $600 million in federal stimulus money to buoy funding to tax-supported colleges and universities for the last two years, but that program has expired. However, the state is appropriating more in general revenue funds to compensate for some of the gap, Regents' spokeswoman Kim Norris said.
As outlined in the new budget, the legislature approved a 1 percent increase in the general revenue fund allotment for the student share of instruction the amount of money that the state provides per student.
The state budget also cements in the 3.5 percent tuition hike for four-year universities and limits community and technical colleges to $200 increases in each of the next two years. Ohio high school graduates who leave the state and return can get in-state tuition rates in the new Forever Buckeye program.
The new state budget also establishes a tax-supported entity called an enterprise (formerly ''charter'') university. In exchange for less money from the state, enterprise universities would get some relief in state regulations that they view as cumbersome and expensive.
Jim Petro, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, will present a framework for enterprise universities to Gov. John Kasich by mid-August.
While the budget was in flux, many tax-supported colleges and universities approved tuition increases of what they believed would be the maximum of 3.5 percent. Ohio University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Akron hiked undergraduate tuition 3.5 percent; Ohio State, 3.3 percent.
Kent State trustees held off until the last minute, deferring authority to Lefton and others as information about the state budget unfolded.
Meanwhile, tuition at private colleges is growing by an average of 4.6 percent for the coming academic year, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at email@example.com or 330-996-3729.