Ohio universities seek more state money, tuition hikes


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s higher education leaders want the state to give its public universities more money in the next budget.

The Inter-University Council of Ohio seeks a 4.5 percent increase in the basic state subsidy for each of the next two years, The Blade newspaper reported recently.

The group, which represents the state’s public universities, has also asked for a 10 percent total bump in funding for needy Ohio students and wants universities to have the option to raise tuition this school year.

The state expects to provide nearly $2 billion in instructional subsidies this year. The subsidy grew by 4 percent this year and 4.7 percent the year before.

“We are back to our funding level before the Great Recession, which means that over the last eight years we haven’t made any progress, but we’ve recovered what we’ve lost,” council president Bruce Johnson told The Blade.

The group’s proposed 4.5 percent subsidy increase would cost an additional $89 million next fiscal year.

State officials say they’re expecting the upcoming budget will be “tight.”

“We have made significant investments for our colleges and universities in past years, but this upcoming budget will be tight, and anyone looking for a major program expansion is likely to be disappointed,” said Emmalee Kalmbach, spokeswoman for Gov. John Kasich.

Ohio ranked 40th in the country for educational appropriations per full-time equivalent student in fiscal year 2015, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University both said they would talk about hiking tuition next school year if allowed to do so.

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