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Friday, Nov 21, 2014

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Roderick McDavis

Dr. Roderick J. McDavis, President

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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The OHIO Guarantee: An innovative, transparent approach to managing college affordability


The following editorial by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis was published May 6 in The Toledo Blade.

It is no secret that with ever-fluctuating tuition rates and other college-related costs, many prospective college students and families across the nation struggle with issues surrounding the affordability of higher education. As a result, senior administrators at Ohio University have aggressively pursued the development of a unique initiative to help address these concerns while also supporting timely degree completion.

This initiative, called The OHIO Guarantee, was adopted by the Ohio University Board of Trustees in January 2014 and received approval from Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey in early April 2014, paving the way for program implementation starting with the OHIO freshman class of 2015-16.

The OHIO Guarantee was developed as a way to provide better financial predictability to students and parents, maintain the value of financial aid and provide an incentive for students to earn a degree within four years.

While a guaranteed tuition model is not a new concept in higher education, OHIO’s innovative plan is truly unique. This is because our plan includes flat rates for housing, dining and most academic course and technology fees – in addition to tuition – which helps families budget for college costs in their entirety.

Under The OHIO Guarantee, Ohio University will set tuition and fee costs for each entering cohort of degree-seeking undergraduate students at the Athens campus, and the total costs will remain the same throughout those students’ four years (or 12 consecutive semesters) of enrollment.

Scholarships and financial aid packages hold their value through The OHIO Guarantee. Because the cost of attending OHIO will remain flat, the same percentage of those costs will be met by any renewable scholarship, assuming that renewable scholarship criteria are maintained.

While students who enrolled prior to the 2015-16 academic year will not be directly affected by The OHIO Guarantee, students and families can rest assured that Ohio University’s commitment to college affordability is unwavering. We will continue to do all that we can to protect the costs and value of an Ohio University education for all students, including those who do not fall under The OHIO Guarantee.

The OHIO Guarantee will not affect tuition at Ohio University’s regional campuses; however, each student, regardless of location of initial enrollment, will be placed in a cohort as determined by year of enrollment. Then, if a student relocates to the Athens campus, he or she will fall under the fee structure aligned with that student’s year of initial enrollment.

We believe in The OHIO Guarantee because it is predictable and transparent. We believe in The OHIO Guarantee because it secures the value of student financial aid and supports degree completion. Above all, we believe in The OHIO Guarantee because it ensures that families can budget for the true cost of a college education. In doing so, the plan supports the opportunity for every student to afford a top-quality, transformative education at Ohio University.

For more information about The OHIO Guarantee, please visit The OHIO Guarantee website at www.ohio.edu/guarantee.