Board of trustees focuses on ‘Say Yes to Education’ progress

Dec. 11, 2017

By Zachary Sorohan

The Cleveland State University Board of Trustees formally approved the Tuition Guarantee Plan, the reduction of the College of Law out-of-state tuition surcharge and the Preferred Name Policy at its Nov. 29 meeting.additionally, President Ronald M. Berkman also shared progress on Cleveland’s bid for the “Say Yes to Education” program.

“Say Yes to Education” already operates in Syracuse and Buffalo, NY and Greensboro, SC.
The program provides tuition to students of specific school districts who plan to attend two and four-year public institutions.

In Cleveland’s case, graduates of the Cleveland Municipal School District will be eligible to receive additional financial aid to make attending these schools tuition-free.

Berkman said — while meeting with executives of the program — “the language has now changed…it is not ‘if’ Cleveland will get the program, it is ‘when’ Cleveland will get the program.”

“Say Yes to Education” is a program that Mayor Frank Jackson has been attempting to attract to the city for most of his campaign. It will help cover tuition for incoming students, as well as what Berkman called “wrap-around services.”

These services will begin in the school district, and include things such as tutoring and advising that will help to guide students toward graduation.

While the partnership may not be officially announced for some time, many behind the scenes at “Say Yes to Education,” Cleveland State University and the city of Cleveland are putting plans into motion to bring the program here as quickly as possible.

Beginning with incoming freshman students in the fall of 2018, the Tuition Guarantee Plan allows the university to raise tuition by six percent for the incoming class, but must guarantee that it stays at that level.

This raise will only affect tuition and room and board, not other student fees according to Timothy Long, associate vice president for finance and budget.

The board specifically approved the tuition for this class with a raise in tuition of 6 percent and increase in room and board of 5.07 percent, or 5.49 percent with a weighted average.

Long also explained to the board the idea behind reducing the out-of-state tuition surcharge for the College of Law from approximately $9,000 to $50.

Ohio requires that institutions have some form of out-of-state surcharge, and Akron has similarly reduced its surcharge to attract more students.

Long said that with the tuition and fees those students will already pay by coming, only four students coming from out-of-state would make up for the deficit of reducing the fee.

The board also approved the Preferred Name Policy, which has already circulated around campus through polls and emails. This policy allows students to formally submit a preferred name, aside from their legal name to appear on class rosters and in other campus materials and resources.

Sonali Wilson, general counsel for the university, did say that not all technologies will immediately work with the preferred name that is submitted.

For example, Blackboard has already integrated a way to enter the information but not all technology used by the university will be immediately adaptable.

The Board will meet next on Jan. 29, 2018.



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