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Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

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President Roderick J. McDavis

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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OHIO Guarantee makes college costs predictable


The following letter to the editor by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis was published July 5 in The Columbus Dispatch.

It is no secret that with ever-fluctuating tuition rates and other college-related costs, many prospective students and families struggle to afford 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 and approved by the Board of Regents in early April, paving the way to implement it with the OU 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, OU’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.

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 OU will remain flat, the same percentage of those costs will be met by any renewable scholarship.

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 plan will not affect tuition at Ohio University’s regional campuses, but each student, regardless of location of initial enrollment, still will be placed in that year’s cohort. 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. More information about the OHIO Guarantee is available at www.ohio.edu/guarantee.

RODERICK J. McDAVIS

President,

Ohio University

Athens