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OHIO LEGISLATURE Bill would cap tuition increases at state colleges and universities



Published: Sat, February 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



This is the third time Sen. Coughlin has introduced the measure.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- A new bill before lawmakers would change the way the government regulates tuition increases at state colleges and universities.

Sen. Kevin Coughlin's bill would cap tuition increases by a dollar amount rather than a percentage. Schools charging $7,700 or more per year would be able to increase tuition by no more than $350 annually. Tuition of $6,000 or less could increase by $450, and those in between could increase by $400.

This is the third year Coughlin has introduced the legislation.

"There are various approaches for implementing tuition caps, but I believe a tiered system is the best method for ensuring equity across the board," Coughlin said in a statement.

A cap in place for the last two years allows public colleges and universities to increase tuition by up to 9.9 percent each year if a third of that money is used for scholarships or other approved expenditures. That policy expires in the current school year and is up for renewal in the budget bill.

The state's Board of Regents said any discussion of tuition policy must include state support and financial aid, and that $450 still is a barrier to Ohio's neediest students. Spokesman Bret Crow said tuition increases over the last five years have not made up for a state funding cut of $1,600 per full-time student.




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