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ONU announces steepest tuition hike in seven years

Tuition at Ohio Northern will increase 3.9 percent for the 2018-19 school year, university administration told students and parents this week. (Northern Review photo/ Grant Pepper)

Tuition at Ohio Northern will rise 3.9 percent for the 2018-19 school year, according to an email that university administration sent to students today, which followed a letter that was sent to parents last week (read the full letter at the end of this story).

The tuition hike will be the largest since the 2011-12 school year, according to data that school president Dan DiBiasio gave this newspaper in January.

Next year, tuition will increase by approximately $1,700 for Arts & Sciences students, $1,800 for Engineering students and $1,900 for Pharmacy students (before financial aid is applied).

Tuition typically increases every year, as it has seven of the past eight years (there was no increase in 2014-15 as a part of the newly instituted ‘Northern Promise’). It increased 3.4 percent this year, although the increase was used for different purposes.

This year, the university restructured its student tuition so that the “Technology Fee” became the “General Student Fee,” and that fee would be used to improve multiple facets of campus life; it allowed student government to receive annual funding and provided revenue for campus health and technological services.

While the General Student Fee increased from $580 to $870 in this year’s tuition bump, room fees went down while board and tuition fees rose slightly.

From May: Faster Internet, bigger concerts and increased counseling: How the 2017-18 tuition hike affects students

In next year’s tuition hike, the General Student Fee will rise just $40 per person -- to $910 total -- but there will be a steeper rise in tuition, room and board fees.

While the 3.9 percent increase will be the largest in seven years, DiBiasio noted in his letter that “the average increase for similarly classified private colleges and universities in 2017-18 was 4.1 [percent].”

He also brought attention to some of the university’s major improvements over the past year, which include the renovation of the McIntosh Dining Hall and the Heterick Memorial Library, as well as the university’s groundbreaking for the new Engineering building, which is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

“I can assure you that a college education is one of the best investments one can make,” DiBiasio said in his letter to students and parents.