Univ. of Toledo offers undergrads lower tuition, fees

UT plans to offer free on-campus housing for qualifying students.

As average student loan debt rises in the United States, students at the University of Toledo may be able to put a little money back in their pockets as the institution announces a series of measures to reduce the costs of higher education.

UT plans to offer free on-campus housing for the spring semester of 2013 for all new transfer students who begin at the university in January with 12 or more transfer credit hours. The institution says it will also freeze all undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 academic year, including housing, meal plans, and general fees.

Full-time first-year students who currently live on campus will also receive a 25% housing discount if they return to live in residence halls for the 2013-2014 academic year as sophomores. However, these students must have earned 24 or more credit hours with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

"Ever since our tuition freeze guarantee in 2007 that led to a state-wide, two-year freeze at public universities for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years, The University of Toledo has led efforts to keep higher education in Ohio affordable," UT President Lloyd Jacobs said.

The new measures come over a year after the university announced tuition increases of 3.5% for undergraduates and between 5 and 6.5% for graduate students. Those hikes took affect in August 2011. The university now says they are responding to nationwide concerns that higher education is increasingly unaffordable for students.

"The world is changing too fast for higher education institutions to make incremental changes and expect to stay relevant to theneeds of students and families," Jacobs said. "We are making transformational moves and those universities that don't won't exist in the next decade. Change is what students and families are looking for as they choose universities."

In June 2011, the University of Toledo announced Pres. Jacobs would not receive a raise through 2016 at which time his contract with the university ends. Jacobs is paid more than $390,000 a year and receives a car, house, and expense account from the university.