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Frequently Asked Questions  

The OHIO Guarantee sets a new standard among Ohio’s public institutions of higher education by taking the guesswork out of budgeting for college. The OHIO Guarantee is a cohort based, level-rate tuition, housing, dining, and fee model that assures students and their families a set of comprehensive rates for the pursuit of an undergraduate degree at Ohio University. Tuition, housing, dining, and fee rates established at enrollment remain unchanged for 12 consecutive semesters.

What is a tuition guarantee?

The OHIO Guarantee is a cohort based, level-rate tuition, housing, dining, and fee model that assures students and their families a set of comprehensive rates for the pursuit of an undergraduate degree at Ohio University.

Why are you doing it?

The OHIO Guarantee benefits students and their families by enabling:

  • The ability to predict college costs
  • Accurate budget planning
  • A financial incentive for timely graduation
  • The potential for reducing student debt
  • A more stable value for renewable financial aid

Who participates?

Beginning with the 2015-16 academic year (fall semester 2015 or spring semester 2016) every new degree-seeking first-year or transfer undergraduate (baccalaureate or associate) student, regardless of campus of admission or enrollment, will be part of The OHIO Guarantee at Ohio University.

The OHIO Guarantee will not affect tuition at OHIO's Regional Campuses; however, each student, regardless of whether starting on a regional campus or the Athens campus, will be placed in the appropriate Guarantee cohort upon initial enrollment at any OHIO campus. Then, when a student relocates to the Athens campus, he or she will be in the same cohort in which he or she started and will pay that cohort's rates under The OHIO Guarantee.

How does it work?

You pay a pre-determined amount per semester your first year, and for the next three years. Provided you complete your degree in four years, your tuition schedule will not change. First year students will pay a fixed tuition rate, which will remain in effect for four years. Students in certain academic programs will pay additional course fees but these will also be set four years in advance.

What is included?

There are no hidden fees! The OHIO Guarantee is a comprehensive program consisting of the following commonly assessed fees (PDF) for students in The OHIO Guarantee:

  1. Instructional Fee
  2. General Fee
  3. Non-Resident Surcharge Fee
  4. Student Information System/Network Fee
  5. Technology Fee
  6. Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) Fee
  7. Graduation Application Fee
  8. Individual Course Fee

 

The Athens Campus undergraduate individual course fees will be included as a single unchanging rate in the OHIO Guarantee. There will be clear guidelines and exceptions outlined, including, but not limited to:

  1. Course fees for a small number of high-cost programs or activities will be assessed beyond or in addition to level-tuition and fees (e.g. assessed due to travel or aviation costs that exceed a pre-determined amount)
  2. Fees for study abroad and domestic travel (e.g. flight costs, activity fees, etc.) are not part of The OHIO Guarantee, however, the instructional and general fees will be included in The OHIO Guarantee for these programs.

There are some student waivable fees (PDF) that are charged to all students but may be waived, and are therefore optional and are not included in The OHIO Guarantee.

Are there additional student costs included in The OHIO Guarantee?

Students in The OHIO Guarantee will be subject to a level housing rate that represents the various housing options available. Also, students in The OHIO Guarantee will be subject to a level meal plan rate based upon the type of meal plan selected.

How is my financial aid affected?

Scholarships and financial aid packages hold their value through The OHIO Guarantee. Because the cost of attending OHIO will remain steady, the same percentage of those costs will be met by any renewable scholarship for each fall and spring semester of a student's four years at OHIO, assuming that renewable scholarship criteria are maintained. By contrast, in a model of increasing annual costs, a smaller percentage of a student's educational costs would be met each year. Additionally, if a student's first priority filing status and financial need as determined by the FAFSA remains consistent, any available federal, state, and institutional funding would be similar each year, though term amounts may vary.

The Federal Pell Grant is available for two full-time semesters per academic year. For students attending full-time during the summer and fall semesters, for example, no Pell Grant funding would be available for the spring semester. Annual Federal Direct Loan amounts are not increased for summer enrollment. The annual maximum is divided equally over the two or three terms of attendance. Most University-based scholarship and grant funding is awarded and disbursed over fall and spring semesters only.

What are the requirements?

The OHIO Guarantee is for new, degree-seeking undergraduate students admitted and enrolled beginning the fall semester of 2015 or spring semester 2016.

Why does it expire in four years?

Most of the programs at Ohio University can be completed in four years if a student completes a full-time course load for 12 consecutive semesters. The OHIO Guarantee encourages students to maintain a schedule that allows for graduation within a four-year period.

What happens if it takes me longer than 12 semesters to graduate?

After The OHIO Guarantee for a particular student expires, you will pay the tuition rate assigned to the cohort that went into affect the year after your initial cohort. If you are enrolled in a program that the Ohio Board of Regents identifies as requiring more than 128 hours to complete (pdf), you will automatically receive an additional 13th semester within The OHIO Guarantee.

What happens if I graduate in fewer than 12 semesters?

Students who graduate in fewer than 12 semesters will continue to be permitted to enroll in classes at the initial cohort guaranteed rate until 12 semesters have passed. The OHIO Guarantee is designed to encourage graduation and you should be congratulated for finishing your course of study in fewer than 12 semesters.

What happens if I enroll in an academic program that is longer than four years?

There are some undergraduate programs at Ohio University that are designed to take longer than four years. If you are enrolled in a program that the Ohio Board of Regents identifies as requiring more than 128 hours to complete (pdf), you will automatically receive an additional 13th semester within The OHIO Guarantee.

What happens if I leave Ohio University during the four-year period and return later?

When you return, you would be subject to paying the same tuition rate if it is within the four years. After that time, you would pay The OHIO Guarantee rate paid by the existing cohort at that time.

What happens if I change majors?

If you change your major or college, you will maintain your cohort status and The OHIO Guarantee expiration date will not change.

Are there a maximum or minimum number of hours in which I may enroll?

The OHIO Guarantee program is in effect for 12 consecutive semesters regardless of the number of courses you take during a semester up to the allowable limit (20) per semester.

Are classes taken during summer sessions included?

New, degree-seeking undergraduate students admitted and enrolled beginning summer 2014-15 will pay the current University tuition rate for that summer. They will then be placed in the fall 2015-16 cohort of The OHIO Guarantee. These students will have 12 semesters at the guaranteed rate beginning the fall semester 2015.

Are there any exceptions to the program?

Graduate tuition, continuing education tuition, e-learning tuition, and study abroad tuition are not covered by The OHIO Guarantee. For example, if you need to leave Ohio University for extenuating circumstances you will be able to pay the tuition you were guaranteed if you re-enroll. Their tuition guarantee will be extended for a period matching your absence. The University must verify and approve any extenuating circumstances such as military service or emergency medical conditions. There is a list of exceptions (pdf) available.

In most cases, it is expected that extenuating circumstances will fall within the precedents already established by the long standing Tuition Appeals Committee but a committee, The OHIO Guarantee Appeals Committee, will be established to evaluate exceptional cases.