Greene County News Report
FAIRBORN — Tuition will not increase for full-time, resident undergraduate students at Wright State University this fall.
In its fiscal 2016 budget presented to and approved by the board of trustees, the university requested only an annual tuition increase this fall for graduate, professional and non-resident students of no more than 2.3 percent. Undergrads from Ohio will pay the same as they did this year as Wright State’s tuition continues to track below the US national average for four-year public universities.
It is also among the lowest for Ohio’s four-year public universities.
“The university budget is about being a good steward,” said President David R. Hopkins. “A good steward of our student’s tuition dollars and the state funding we receive. It’s about being a good steward for our future to ensure that students reach the finish of their degrees, that we continue our innovation in research and continue to engage our community.”
The overall budget, presented Thursday, June 4, contains a spending plan designed to build on the university’s successes and support its growth. The university proposed an annual operating budget of $311 million, an increase of $6.5 million over last year. It is part of an overall budget of $400 million, which includes money for restricted use that comes from research grants and contracts.
Mark M. Polatajko, vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer, detailed the financial condition of the university and laid out the proposed budget to the trustees and the campus audience.
Polatajko also reviewed the successes of the 2015 budget, highlighting how Wright State has saved money and created efficiencies by developing shared service models with other higher education and public institutions and through implementation of energy conservation measures across campus.
In 2015, Wright State also increased its number of scholarships awarded by 13.5 percent with over $3.9 million in new awards given to more than 1,200 Wright State students.
“We are creating the highest value for every dollar we spend,” Polatajko said.
He noted that the opening of the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building and the ongoing construction of the Student Success Center and Classroom Building are helping to drive other campus projects as well as student success and research efforts.
Additionally, more than $5.3 million in capital funding from the state will be used to modernize campus buildings for improved classroom experiences and revitalize space to improve student service.
While higher education institutions face several challenges amid state and federal initiatives focused on delivering quality education and increased value to families, as well as continued decrease in state support of higher education, Wright State University is poised to continue to serve 21st century students.
“The financial condition of the university is strong,” said Polatajko. “The fiscal 2016 budget continues on the path of sound fiscal stewardship and aligns our resources to the relentless execution of our 2013–18 Strategic Plan.”
The budget is based in-part on expected state funding that has not yet been allocated.