Room-and-board costs for Kent State University student residents will rise this fall while tuition for the College of Podiatric Medicine goes up this May.
KSU trustees approved the cost hikes Wednesday along with a $106,000 bonus for outgoing President Lester Lefton, who will retire this summer.
Lefton's yearly bonus is based on the achievement of annual goals and objectives agreed upon by trustees and himself. The bonus, which he will collect July 1, is 25 percent of his base salary of $426,155.
Among various items, Jane Timken, chair of the KSU Board of Trustees, said Lefton earned the yearly bonus for achieving goals like growing enrollment, diversifying the student body, recording a record freshman class size and increasing retention.
The combined increase of 3.9 percent to student double-room and board rates will go in effect beginning this fall.
The double-room rates are to increase by 3.95 percent, while the basic board rate will increase by 3.83 percent.
The increase is expected to tack on about $100 to the overall, semester-based rates. Rates begin around $2,900 a semester for most standard double-room dorms. KSU's basic meal plan is $1,830 a semester.
The 4.5 percent hike in tuition for KSU's College of Podiatric Medicine for the 2014-15 academic year amounts to a roughly $1,440 increase per semester. Its annual tuition at is $33,240 for out-of-state students and $33,230 for those in-state.
Gregg Floyd, KSU's senior vice president for finance and administration, cited inflation and the rising costs of maintenance for the increases to the self-sustaining room-and-board operations.
The revenue will be applied to dorm maintenance and capital improvement projects.
He noted those increases will likely continue on an annual basis, but at what rate is uncertain.
Floyd said KSU's rates for room-and-board, despite the increase, remains in the bottom third for all state schools.
The board is awaiting a final state budget before considering tuition rates for the rest of the university. The academic year for the COPM begins in May, which is different from rest of the university and resulted in the need for a tuition hike now.
Out of eight podiatric colleges nationwide, KSU is ranked fifth in terms of tuition. Officials say the increase is not expected to affect that placement.
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