Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis issued a memo Tuesday in response to the new state budget for the next two years, which both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly passed on Monday.
"We are grateful to Gov. (Ted) Strickland, the General Assembly and (Ohio Board of Regents) Chancellor (Eric) Fingerhut for their commitment to higher education and their recognition that higher education is at the core of successfully meeting Ohio's economic challenges," McDavis said.
While the state reduced or eliminated funding for many higher education programs to keep state share of instruction (SSI) at the highest possible level, the final budget reduces SSI from the Senate version of the budget by $170 million to public universities and by $20 million to regional campuses and community colleges.
The budget calls for the full amount of these reductions to take place in 2010-2011. To help colleges and universities offset the decreases in SSI, the state has lifted the state-wide tuition freeze that had been in place for the last two years. In 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 Ohio's public colleges and universities will be allowed to raise tuition and fees by 3.5 percent annually. The state budget also implements Ohio's new performance-based funding formula, which focuses on course completions and degrees awarded.
The university will not raise tuition for the upcoming fall quarter, which would be difficult for students and families with just a few weeks remaining before the beginning of the quarter.
For the upcoming year, Ohio University has allocated an additional $5.6 million in scholarships and financial aid. The state budget also targets financial aid dollars to the most at?risk students and gives the chancellor the authority to work with the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority on new strategies to help parents save for college and lock in today's lower tuition costs for the future.