Ohio

Eye on Education

A Handful of Ohio’s Colleges Are Some of The Most Expensive in The Country, Rankings Say

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College rankings list pepper the Internet in lots of different forms: there’s this one, and this one, and this one.

And add another one onto that growing list. Recent rankings from the U.S. Department of Education, based on financial information, report a handful of Ohio’s colleges are some of the priciest public schools in the country, according to data from the 2011-12 academic year.

One of the reports generated off of this information dives into the net price of colleges, or the cost of attendance after taking grants and scholarship money into consideration.

With a net price of $24,674, Miami University took the top spot for public four-year colleges nationwide. That’s significantly higher than the national average of $11,582.

But Miami’s not the only school in the state with an above-average net price.

Four other schools’ main campus locations landed a place on the list:

  • Ohio State: $19,998
  • University of Cincinnati: $19,045
  • Kent State: $18,663
  • Ohio University: $18,356

But Miami University’s Claire Wagner told the Dayton Daily News the number could be misleading.

“That (ranking) seems to speak to where universities are getting less support from the state, so the tuition is higher,” she said, adding that state support made up over 50 percent of the school’s budget in the 1980s, compared to 9.2 percent today.

The Dayton Daily News also mentions that for the majority of colleges across the country, state higher education funding clocks in lower than it did before the recession.

That’s a thought echoed by The College of Affordability and Productivity’s Richard Vedder, who points to state funding as one of the reasons why so many Ohio schools rank higher than their nationwide counterparts.

“Ohio has not been a state that has been extremely generous in state support for higher education,” he said. “The amount of subsidy per student in Ohio is generally well below the national average.”

Increasing facility and administration costs may also be factors in driving up tuition, Vedder added. As both the cost of college and student loan debt rise, it’s possible to think that prospective students could be thinking twice about enrolling in higher education.

“Students are starting to ask themselves is this worth it,” Vedder said. “For most kids, I think a majority it probably is  worth it, but there’s a growing percentage of whom it’s questionable. “

As for the importance of state funding, Vedder said that issue may be shifting as the state moves to a new funding formula for state-owned colleges.

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