It’s a case of “bad news and good news” for students at Ohio’s largest state university, including for its five regional campuses.
The Ohio State University is proposing a tuition and fee increase of approximately 5.5 percent for fall 2017 for incoming Ohio freshmen in August and then, under a guarantee, be frozen at that level for four years.
This will apply to incoming freshmen only. Tuition and fees will not change for existing in-state students, including current sophomores, juniors and seniors. This would mark the fifth straight year of a tuition-and-fee freeze for existing students.
Concurrently, Ohio State will significantly expand aid for middle- and lower-income students. “The Ohio State Tuition Guarantee program provides predictability for the future while our increased focus on need-based aid protects opportunity,” said President Michael V. Drake.
The Board of Trustees will deliberate and discuss these proposed changes at a meeting on July 11. Pending board approval, Ohio State would also:
Increase the value of Land Grant Opportunity Scholarships to cover total cost of attendance as was the case from 2006-13. Next year, Ohio State proposes doubling the size of the program to offer two scholarships in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. The program would thus offer 176 scholarships per year to talented Ohio students with financial need.
Invest an additional $25 million in the President’s Affordability Grant program, providing more support for 15,000 middle and lower income Ohio residents, including 3,000 students at Ohio State’s regional campuses. Entering its third year, this very popular program will have provided a total of $60 million in need-based grants.
These efforts are part of a focus on balancing access, affordability and excellence. Ohio State also continues to be a national leader in this area.
The university is a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, which aims to increase the number of talented middle- and lower-income students at top-performing institutions by 50,000 over the next decade. It is a charter participant in the University Innovation Alliance, a partnership of public universities to ensure more students earn a college degree.
The Ohio State Tuition Guarantee would set resident tuition and fees at $10,591 per year (current tuition and fees are $10,037) through 2020-21 for incoming first-year students at the Columbus campus. The guarantee would be set at $7,553 for the Lima, Mansfield, Marion and Newark campuses and $7,517 at the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. Current students will continue to pay $10,037 for in-state tuition and mandatory fees at the Columbus campus — the fourth-lowest cost in the Big Ten. Ohio State has the second-lowest resident tuition and fees of the six selective public universities in Ohio.
“We thank the legislature for providing Ohio’s colleges and universities with flexibility to fund high-quality academic programs while increasing predictability and transparency for students,” Drake said.
University investments in access, affordability and excellence are part of a comprehensive strategy to elevate the value of an Ohio State education. By increasing the value of Land Grant Opportunity Scholarships, the university will help more students graduate debt-free. The $60 million invested in the President’s Affordability Grant program, funded through the university’s administrative efficiency program, brings the university closer to its stated goal of providing a total of $100 million in additional need-based aid by 2020.
Additional tuition and fee proposals include: