es: in 2010 a 3.5% tuition increase was announced (Gwin, 2010); in 2011 a 3.5% tuition increase was announced (Dick, 2011); in 2012 a 3.5% tuition increase was announced (Dick, 2012); lastly, in 2013, a 2.43% tuition increase was announced (Another academic year at YSU, 2013).
Tuition increases at YSU are proposed to the Board of Trustees (BOT), and the majority of the BOT must approve such increases. Review of the meeting minutes indicates consistent support among the BOT members for these increases, with the exception of one consistent dissenter (Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, n.d.).
State Funding and Tuition Increases
As noted in the BOT meeting minutes, state funding for YSU decreased during the period that tuition increased. For example, the BOT minutes for June 17, 2011, indicated that budgeting was difficult due to “dramatically declining state funding and a limited ability to raise other revenues” (Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, 2011 p. 6). Similarly, minutes from the June 13, 2012 BOT meeting acknowledged this trend, recounting that, “In the face of competing needs and lower revenues, states are reducing their levels of financial contribution to higher education, leaving students to bear the financial burden of attaining a college degree (Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, 2012, p. 4).
Indeed, looking at the State Share of Instruction reported by the Ohio Board of Regents, per-student state funding steadily declined from 2010 to 2012. This occurred at a time that full-time enrollments peaked then began to decline throughout the state, and subsequently tuition steadily increased (Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 2012). The U.S. Department of Education reported that funding for higher education in Ohio decreased 18.8% from the ’08-’09 school year to the ’09-’10 school year (“Percentage changes in state spending indicators,” n.d.). This was followed the n...