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REPORT CARD YSU gets high marks from state



Published: Fri, January 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Full-time undergraduate tuition ranks well below the state average.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University offers smaller class sizes, retains more students, charges lower tuition and operates in a more cost-efficient manner than do many other public universities in the state, according to Ohio's annual report card on higher education.

The 2004 Performance Report for Ohio's Colleges and Universities also shows that YSU receives less state subsidy than many other universities, that YSU offers financial aid to a higher percentage of students and that YSU students score exceptionally well on licensing exams in the health professions.

"This year's report again shows that YSU performs on a level that is equal to -- or in many cases surpasses -- that at other top universities in Ohio," YSU President David C. Sweet said. "It's a report card of which we all should be proud."

Bege Bowers, YSU assistant provost for academic programs and planning, agreed.

"The report is a useful way for universities to identify some of their strengths, as well as some areas they need to improve," said Bowers, who becomes interim provost Feb. 1. "As people read through the report, they will find that YSU performs very well, despite financial constraints and declining state support."

Examples

For the fifth consecutive year, YSU received exemplary marks in several categories.

YSU students taking state licensure exams in nursing and emergency medical technology scored well above the state average. For instance, 100 percent of YSU students taking the EMT-Paramedic State Exam for the first time in 2003-04 passed, compared with 69 percent statewide.

Seventy percent of YSU's freshmen returned to YSU for their sophomore year in 2003, above the 66 percent average for open-admissions state universities. Bowers said the retention rate is especially impressive given that YSU has the third highest percentage of undergraduate students who entered college without having completed the minimum high school core curriculum (38 percent).

At YSU, 37 percent of bachelor-degree students who started college in 1997 graduated within six years, above the national rate of 34 percent.

The average lecture class size at YSU was 30 in fall 2003, compared with nearly 32 at the main campuses of other public universities statewide. The average laboratory-class size was 17 at YSU, compared with 19 at the other schools.

Tuition lowest in state

YSU's full-time undergraduate tuition of $5,884 for the 2004-05 academic year ranks well below the state average of $7,508 and is the lowest among the state's 11 largest public universities.

In terms of spending per student, YSU spent the least of Ohio's 11 largest public universities. YSU spent $9,123 per full-time equivalent student in 2002-03, compared with the $12,202 average at main campuses statewide.

YSU received $4,417 in state instructional subsidy per full-time equivalent student in 2002-03. That's the lowest amount among the state's 13 public universities.

Eighty-seven percent of full-time freshmen at YSU in 2002-03 received financial aid, above the 77 percent average statewide for public four-year universities. Thirty-nine percent of incoming YSU students received institutional grants (from YSU or the YSU Foundation), compared with 30 percent at Cleveland State University, 35 percent at Kent State and 23 percent at the University of Akron.

Twenty-nine percent of YSU's undergraduate student body was older than age 24 in fall 2003, compared with the state main campus average of 17 percent.

The 240-page report, now in its fifth year, is developed by the Ohio Board of Regents and includes comprehensive data about Ohio's 62 public universities and colleges. Gov. Bob Taft requested the annual report in 1999 to give lawmakers, higher education officials, students, parents and the general public detailed information about how Ohio's public university and colleges are performing.

The full report can be viewed online at www.regents.state.oh.us/perfrpt/2004index.html.




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