Owens Community College tuition increases

By Marie Thomas-Baird - mthomas@aimmediamidwest.com

PERRYSBURG — Owens Community College tuition is going up summer term.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board of trustees approved a $5 per credit hour increase that will go into effect summer term.

Per credit tuition will go to $157.50, from the current $152.60.

With the increase, the college is expected to see a boost of just over $600,000, according to Jeff Ganues, chief financial officer.

The increase will not affect the fees collected for for academic technology, administrative technology, student activities/engagement and computer usage.

“We had a lot of discussion about the financial need for it,” said Owens President Steve Robinson. “Even with that increase, our per credit hour price will still lowest of all the two-year (colleges) in the region.

“We’re very mindful of this,” he said.

A tuition surcharge at two times the in-state rate will be levied on out-of-state and international students.

Enrollment for spring term continues to decline, but fall enrollment was up significantly last year.

Spring enrollment for 2020 is 8,465; it was 8,712 for spring 2019.

Fall enrollment went from 7,748 in 2018 to 8,282 in fall 2019.

Amy Giordano, vice president of student services, explained what her office is doing to better track and recruit students.

Based on new students enrolled for fall 2019, 775 were direct from high school. That demographic is historically large in the fall; in the spring, transfer students make up the bulk of enrollment.

“Knowing this allows us to tailor our recruitment efforts and intervention strategies in areas such as admissions, advising, Oserve and student life,” she said.

The majority of new students in the fall were first generation and around 50% were eligible for the federal Pell Grant.

Grant submission requires completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which has its own set of difficulties.

Robinson said there is an effort led by the Toledo Chamber of Commerce to increase FAFSA completion in Lucas County.

There is a lot of untapped federal aid with students not filling out the form, he said.

Tax returns are one of the first items asked for on the form, and ProMedica is offering free tax advice to those wishing to fill out scholarship forms, Giordano said.

Trustee Srinivas Hejeebu said it took two hours to finish the form for his child. Robinson said even with three college degrees, he made a mistake when he filled it out for his child.

Giordano said the college is trying to better understand who is completing the FAFSA and who is not, in order to reach out to those students who aren’t and support them should they want to.

By Marie Thomas-Baird