Trustees approve plan for guaranteed four-year tuition

Tuition will be frozen over the four years of a student’s enrollment at Youngstown State University under the Penguin Tuition Promise approved by the YSU Board of Trustees this morning.

Penguin Tution Promise Table

“The Penguin Tuition Promise provides all first-time undergraduate students and their families the certainty that tuition will remain the same for four years as they pursue their degrees,” YSU President Jim Tressel said. “It makes the cost of college more predictable, it helps families better plan financially and it encourages students to complete their degrees on time.”
 
Typically, universities set tuition rates annually that apply to all students at the institution. If tuition goes up, all students pay the increased rates.
 
Under the Penguin Tuition Promise, a guaranteed tuition rate will be set for each incoming class of undergraduate students and will remain the same for four consecutive academic years as students pursue their bachelor’s degrees.
 
The plan begins with the fall 2018 entering class of students. Tuition and mandatory fees for those students will be $8,899 per academic year. Room and board for university housing will be $9,400 per academic year. Both the tuition and room/board charges will remain the same through four years for those students. Both rates also remain the lowest among public comprehensive universities in Ohio. The tuition charge is about $1,500 or nearly 20 percent under the state average.
 
“In addition to offering stability in costs, the Penguin Tuition Promise is yet another incentive and tool for students to finish their undergraduate degrees in four years,” Provost Martin Abraham said.
 
The four-year Penguin Tuition Promise does not include returning students. For those students, tuition and fees will remain the same in 2018-19 as the current academic year.
 
Students who are not residents of Ohio will continue to pay an out-of-state surcharge, and that surcharge is not included in the four-year tuition guarantee. Also not included in the plan are program fees, lab and materials fees and college fees.
 
More details of the plan will be released to students soon.

The new tuition plan is one of many efforts the university has recently launched to help students graduate on time and to reduce student costs. Other initiatives include: reducing the number of credits required to earn a bachelor’s degree, from 124 to 120; introducing the new Penguin Jump Start program that allows entering students to take up to six credit hours for just $500 per course; increasing tuition bulk rate by two credit hours, from 12-16 credit hours to 12-18, effectively allowing students to take up to two additional credit hours at no additional cost; and doubling the number of College Credit Plus course offerings, resulting in a 122 percent increase in participation.
 
In other action, the board reversed its decision earlier this year to increase the student transportation fee by $40. The action was taken at the direction of the Ohio Department of Higher Education to comply with new language in the state budget on fee increases. Neal McNally, vice president for Finance and Operations, said students who have paid the fee will be refunded.
 
The fee increase was part of YSU’s long-term strategic plan to build plant reserves to fund the future replacement of the 1,278-space Fifth Avenue parking deck on campus.
 
The board also approved a resolution for the university to recruit a special assistant to the president to lead a new Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning.
 
The new office will include the Division of Student Success and the Office of Institutional Research. The special assistant to the president will provide direction for an array of initiatives related to institutional research, strategic planning implementation and an integrated approach to institutional effectiveness.