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COTC to hold tuition rates for autumn 2014

| May 21, 2014

NEWARK — At a time when most colleges and universities are faced with the tough decision of whether to raise tuition costs, Central Ohio Technical College’s Board of Trustees has approved a recommendation to hold the current annual tuition rate of $4,296 for a student taking up to 15 credit hours per semester. This does not include the cost of books and any program-related fees. COTC does not charge a technology or recreation fee.

“COTC has experienced a return to stability since the semester conversion in autumn of 2012, and the challenges that we overcame during that time,” said Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., COTC President. This trend toward a fairly steady enrollment has COTC administrators “cautiously optimistic,” she added. One of the major factors in the decision not to implement a tuition increase is the college’s steadfast commitment to improving access to higher education within the central Ohio region.

“Access to a college education remains critical, and COTC continues to embody a concern for student access as demonstrated by this decision (to freeze tuition),” Coe said. The college operates a total of four campuses, in Newark, Coshocton, Mount Vernon and Pataskala, and provides full student support services at each of those locations.  “Students attending the COTC extended campuses can take general education classes and technical electives; they can work toward any of the college’s 40 associate degrees and certificates,” said the COTC president. As well, the college has recently increased the hours of operation at its extended campuses in an effort to better serve students.

Beyond enrollment, a number of factors were considered within the decision to hold tuition, including state financial support. “A new formula for state funding of higher education now measures student successes and degree completion: an output-focused formula,” said David Brillhart, Vice President for Business and Finance. “As a result of this, COTC is in a better position regarding state funding (or, state share of instruction) as we move forward.”

Overall, the college’s budget is well-aligned with its strategic priorities as spelled out in the institution’s five-year strategic plan. Toward the priority of enhancing student success, COTC remains committed to funding improvement projects in support of a high-quality learning environment. For example, COTC has invested in revitalizing its engineering technology department, including purchasing new lab equipment for the academic program.  To learn more about the plan, go to: http://coursecast.cotc.edu/websitemediafiles/StrategicPlan/index.html#4-5/z

“Another important factor that has helped COTC’s fiscal viability, and helped to make it possible for the college to hold its tuition rate, is the cost-efficiency that comes from its relationship with The Ohio State University at Newark,” said Coe. “COTC’s unique partnership with Ohio State Newark significantly increases the range and the quality of facilities and programs accessible to students, employees and the community.”

Central Ohio Technical College is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential.  COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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