OHERN reduces the cost of higher education

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Published 2012 Academic Year Transportation Cost Estimates at the Following Ohio Colleges and Universities for Students Residing On-Campus

  1. Miami University $1,100

  1. University of Cincinnati $532-$1,084

  1. Wilmington College $500-$700

  1. Ohio Dominican $600

  1. Kent State University $2,002

  1. Ohio University $1,738


Transportation Costs at National Institutions

Two-Year Public

• Commuter $1,380

Four-Year Public

  1. Resident $1,010

  2. Commuter $1,401

  3. Out-of-State $1,010

Four-Year Private

  1. Resident $807

  2. Commuter $1,241

Keeping Costs Down

The White House has called for new legislation giving students more opportunities to pursue higher education while emphasizing that the federal government, states, colleges and universities all have a role to play in making higher education more affordable.

The president stressed it was not enough to increase federal student aid alone and that state policymakers and individual colleges and universities bear a shared responsibility to take action against rising college tuition and costs.

Colleges and universities are facing new pressures to keep costs down while being promised the incentive of additional support from the federal government if they succeed.  But what steps can officials take to lower the major drivers of higher education’s costs? 

Tuition, room and board are the big three.  Lowering any one of these is difficult due to either fixed or accelerating costs such as salaries, pensions and health care benefits, utilities, food prices, dormitory bond payments and so on.  However, it is possible to make significant reduction in transportation costs which for many is the fourth largest cost associated with higher education.

As shown by the 2012 annual transportation cost estimate examples listed in the HIGHLIGHTS table at the left, even the lowest Ohio education-related transportation cost (Willmington College’s $500-$700) is an expensive burden for most families.  Multiplied by the roughly 637,000 students pursuing higher education in Ohio and just over $300 million dollars (637,000 x $500=$318m) each academic year is spent on fuel rather than being saved or spent in other sectors of the state’s economy.   If those same dollars circulated in local economies for clothing, food and entertainment, the long term boost to the state’s economy could be substantial.

A statewide network of trains linking colleges statewide would reduce transportation costs for the average student by giving them the choice of using passenger rail rather than the costlier method of driving between home and campus.

             OHERN Institute  •  Bowling Green, Ohio 43402  •  A Research Division of All Aboard Ohio