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Kent State Budget Adds Fee to Increase Mental Health Services

A photo of the Kent State brain sculpture
Kent State Professor Emeritus of Art Brinsley Tyrrell created this brain sculpture located near Merrill Hall on the Kent campus.

According to recent studies, depression continues to increase year-to-year in the college population. Kent State is working to expand counseling services for students.

The university wants to add a $20 fee next year to support increasing the number of mental health counselors on campus.

Senior Vice President Mark Palatajko said the goal is to create a ratio of about 1,300 students to each counselor. Currently, the university has one counselor for every 3,300 students.

He said over the last few years the university has been trying to ensure students have support services they need, such as suicide prevention programs, walk-in health centers and a 24-hour hotline.

“While Kent State currently offers these services, an opportunity exists to enhance these services even further in alignment with the university’s student-first strategic roadmap priority, our Kent State of Wellness Initiative.”

The proposal was passed unanimously by the university’s Board of Trustees, but is subject to state budget approval. 

Other changes to the budget include tuition increases of 2 percent for students who are not part of the Tuition Guarantee program and an increase of $185 or about 3.5 percent for incoming freshman.