What you need to know
Because of a policy change, students who pay their tuition by credit card will pay more than $200 in added fees next year.
The YSU Board of Trustees will undoubtedly increase tuition again by $130, or 3.5 percent, per semester — the maximum allowed by state law.
These extra charges are meant to help the university cope with revenue shortfalls and to fix an Ohio Board of Regents financial score that’s in the toilet.
The administration borrowed more than $60 million in three years to build the new Williamson Hall and the Watson and Tressel Training Site, renovate Pollock House and buy the University Courtyard Apartments.
They’ve squeezed all they can out of the unions. Non-union employees pledged more than $350,000 to the budget in December, but that won’t be enough.
Now, it’s time for the students to take another hit.
YSU’s tuition is still among the lowest in Ohio, and we believe there are plenty of opportunities for quality education here.
But administrators and the board of trustees should at least acknowledge their role in the university’s distressed financial situation. Instead, they blame OBOR and the state’s continued reductions in appropriations.
State funds comprised 50 percent of YSU’s general fund in 2001. Twelve years and two wars later, YSU students’ tuition dollars make up three-quarters of the whole.
Economies expand and contract. After every few good years are a few bad ones lurking around the corner. YSU shouldn’t have gambled lofty goals for expansion on state funding.
Maybe the trustees should trim some of the fat in the university’s bureaucracy. Administrators don’t need multiple assistants.
YSU is so far in the hole that administrators have to do everything they can to climb out — including tuition hikes. But if students don’t demand accountability, our ever-expanding tuition rates will be used to build more gaudy buildings and less financial security.
Editor’s Note: Because of a limited summer staff, members of the editorial board had to report on the issues herein. We considered the matter carefully, and though we risk a perceived conflict of interest by editorializing, we believe remaining silent would be a disservice to the students of YSU.