CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The new University System of Ohio Website that Gov. Ted Strickland delivered as part of his higher-ed reform package is up and running. The Bellwether used it to dig out the current tuition costs for an Ohio resident at each of the 13 state universities, a process that took about 10 minutes. Before the new Website appeared, such comparison shopping would have taken hours or days. It would have required poking through each school's portal, or trying to hunt and gather info from the State Board of Regents.
Here's the current tuition for a full-time, in-state student, with the school's ranked from most expensive to least:
1. Miami University -- $11,442.72.
2. University of Cincinnati -- $9,399.
3. Bowling Green State University -- $9,140.
4. Ohio University -- $8,907.
5. Ohio State University -- $8,667.
6. Kent State University -- $8,430.
7. University of Akron -- $8382.96.
8. Cleveland State University -- $7,290.
9. Wright State University -- $7,278.
10. University of Toledo -- $6815.52.
11. Youngstown State University -- $6,720.95.
12. Shawnee State University -- $5,932.
13. Central State University -- $2,647.
Two things jumped off the list.
Central State University has held the line on tuition and remains an extremely affordable college experience. It is an historic black school, but anyone is welcome to attend, regardless of race or national origin. People who are watching their pocketbooks ought to give Central State a look. If they can get past their prejudices -- or stereotypes about race and class -- they should consider the school. It's a place where the degree can come without a massive pile of debt, or parents who spent a fortune.
Wright State University in suburban Dayton is a college with an improving academic reputation, a new and growing campus, and prices that are moderate. The list shows it has managed to keep tuition costs in check, perhaps making the school the state's best buy. The college named after Dayton's Wright Brothers is probably a notch better, or at least equal to, places like Kent State, Toledo, Akron and Cleveland State -- the mid-price cluster. And in the years ahead, Wright State will probably clearly overtake some of its older sister schools for academic quality, at least that is how events look to be headed. It is virtually next door to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and benefits from the scientific/engineering/research community that has grown up alongside the massive federal installation, which is the largest employer in the State of Ohio. And for downstaters considering the University of Cincinnati, Wright State has emerged as a much less expensive option that is within an hour's drive of the Queen City. (Full Disclosure: The Bellwether has ties to Xavier University, a private school in Cincinnati.)