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Tate Raub Headshot Tunes with Tate Photo by Tre Spencer | The Post

Free is not free

February 2, 2022

Hot Takes With Tate: Students should be able to opt out of tuition benefits like “free” sports tickets

By Tate Raub | For The Post

There are a multitude of reasons why going to college has resulted in people still paying off their loans decades after earning their degree, going into debt as a result of not being able to pay off said loans and people avoiding college altogether because it’s simply too expensive.

Ohio University has what’s called the OHIO Guarantee. The OHIO Guarantee ensures the price of tuition, housing and meal plan for students’ first year doesn’t change over four school years, since that’s typically the amount of time it takes to complete an undergraduate degree. While that seems great on the outside, the things students pay for under the umbrella of tuition are a black hole of fees.

Tickets for home sporting events for any OU team are “free” for students. At some other public universities in Ohio, students still have to pay to go. For example, University of Akron charges $15 for general admission at football games, and Ohio State University offers season passes that cost from $144 to $272 for all seven home football games. Bowling Green State University, however, also provides students with “free” tickets to all home sporting events.

The reason I say that these tickets are “free” is because students generally assume that they are paid for by a portion of our tuition and don’t actually cost us $0. The cheapest price for a ticket to a men’s basketball game, for instance, ranges from $10 to $25. While it’s a great price range for any sporting event, if students are paying to go to every single home game, it adds up.

The kicker is that many students are not huge fans of sports and will likely only attend a few, if any, events. It would be nice to be able to opt out of the cost of going to sporting events for “free” or be able to choose to cover the cost of a certain amount of games that’s similar to the meal plan options available for students.

There are only two fees that students are able to opt out of: insurance and student legal services. With the insurance fee, students who already have comparable insurance are able to fill out a waiver so that they don’t have to pay for it twice. The catch is that if the university doesn’t deem the insurance to be equal to or better than what they provide, students are not eligible to fill out the waiver.

Any student can opt out of paying the student legal services fee, but naturally it only costs $12 per semester for those who don’t opt out of it. In comparison to all of the other things students have to pay for, $12 a semester is not the decrease in tuition students are pleading for.

OU — and other universities — should do a better job of not only showing students exactly what they’re paying for but also give them the ability to opt out of paying for things they don’t need and possibly can’t afford.

Tate Raub is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @tatertot1310.

AUTHOR: Tate Raub
EDITOR: Hannah Campbell
COPY EDITOR: Anna Garnai
PHOTO: Tre Spencer