The Otterbein University board of trustees unanimously voted Saturday to increase room and board expenses by 4 percent. The 2017 year marks the fifth year without an increase in tuition. In the addition to the decision on the increase, the board considered university divestments in fossil fuel energy and ways to educate students and families about student debt.
According to Cheryl Herbert, chair of the student success committee, stating information from the housing report, there was a 102 percent occupancy on campus last year and has since decreased to 97 percent occupancy this year.
Otterbein student government and the financial resources committee proposed the university to divest in fossil fuels. Currently, only 2 percent of indirect endowment funds is in fossil fuels while none are directly.
Peter Bible, chair of the financial resources committee, considers having a "student cohort to help us on what investments they think they would like the university to get into."
The board is also interested in ways to educate and make students and their families aware of debt they have acquired over their time at Otterbein.
David Fisher, chair of the enrollment and advancement committee, said, "what we're learning and trying to study is of the impact student debt has not only on the student and the student's family, but the impact it has on the university."