May 10, 2002 at 4:44 PM EST - Updated July 3 at 4:17 PM
KENT, Ohio (AP) - Kent State trustees voted Thursday to increase tuition 8.5 percent in the fall semester.
The trustees blame a continuing reduction in state support for the increase. The board did not approve a separate tuition increase for incoming freshmen.
The board's action increases tuition for full-time undergraduate students who are Ohio residents from $2,937 to $3,187 a semester. The trustees noted that Kent State likely will be at the lower end of percentage increases among Ohio public colleges and universities.
The Legislature eliminated a cap on tuition after refusing to increase the higher education budget.
The governor asked universities to keep increases this year below 10 percent for current students and below 15 percent for incoming students.
The board concluded that a "two-tiered" approach carries the "potentially negative impact such an increase would have on the accessibility of a Kent State University education for many students in Ohio."
"We will continue to work with the governor and the Ohio Legislature on long-range solutions to higher education funding, but we also understand the economic and political realities they face," said Kent State President Carol A. Cartwright.
Kent State has received more than 10,000 applications for the 3,500 openings in the freshman class, she said.
The board's action also authorizes 8.5 percent tuition and fee increases for graduate students and out-of-state students. Tuition at Kent States seven regional campuses will increase 9.9 percent, from $1,672 to $1,837 for full-time study in lower-division courses, and from $1,875 to $2,060 for upper-division courses.
The board also voted unanimously to elect Cartwright to a 12th term as Kent State president. The university constitution requires an annual election of the president.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)