Ohio University

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State of the Budget

Responding to our time, preparing for our future

State of the Budget

In a time of uncertainty and disruption, our call as a university remains to build a sustainable future for the students we serve, to be stewards of this remarkable and historic institution, and to help this and future generations grow in knowledge, wisdom, and lifelong learning.

To achieve these goals, we must respond swiftly to fiscal challenges that have been significantly amplified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, we must do so in a way that does not diminish our academic quality or the student experience we deliver, but rather ensures that we continue to strengthen both. 

This task will require collaboration, innovation and ongoing, purposeful commitment to our students and their success.

Enrollment and the Pandemic Have Collective Impact

Enrollment Changes and the Pandemic

Ohio University saw significant increases in enrollment through 2016, making us one of America’s fastest growing universities. In the last four years, however, we have seen a steady decline in enrollment. The arrival of the pandemic increased the urgency of our response to that change. Hear from University leaders on enrollment challenges.

COVID-19 fuels decline in tuition, fees

The arrival of COVID-19 increased the University’s urgency to respond to longer-term enrollment challenges. The pandemic drove $22.8 million in COVID-19 revenue losses in FY20 and is anticipated to drive increased enrollment decline. In the wake of the arrival of COVID-19 universities across the country have seen enrollment impacts and OHIO is no exception. This has amplified enrollment challenges that predate the pandemic and will force further unexpected revenue declines in FY21.

Order: UG Athens Net Tuition, UG eLearning Net Tuition, RHE Net Tuition, Graduate Athens Net Tuition, HCOM Net Tuition, Room & Board. FY17 Actuals - 186.9, 27.5,, 32.4, 95.4, FY18 Actuals - 182.8, 26.3, 29.9, 48.4, 38.7. 92.2, FY19 Actuals - 176.0, 26.0, 29.4, 50,4, 43.0, 90.9, FY20 Actuals - 162.1, 24.0, 27.0, 51.9, 44.2=7, 68.4, FY21 Budget - 135.4, 22.1, 21.6, 51.4, 46.5 68.7

What This Means for Bobcat Students – Our Continued Commitment


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As we make necessary changes in response to financial challenges, we can and we will protect the student experience, evolving in ways that are responsive to students’ interests and needs.

  • Ohio University will not increase tuition to balance the budget. In fact, our Board of Trustees recently approved a proposal to hold tuition flat for students entering the 2020-21 academic year. 
  • We will continue to invest in in-demand programs that current and future generations of Bobcats are seeking through our strategic reserve funds. 
  • We remain committed to affordability, predictability and cost transparency through our OHIO Guarantee+ program – providing level-rate housing, dining and fees, locked in for 12 consecutive semesters
  • We will remain dedicated to protecting the unique Ohio University student experience and ensuring the best possible student outcomes. That commitment will drive our decisions.
  • We will address the institution’s current budget challenges together while continuing to monitor and react to national changes in the higher education sector.

Responding to Fiscal Challenges

FY20 Reduction Actions

Throughout FY20, Ohio University responded to the budget crisis with a series of reduction actions, including a hiring freeze, FY21 staff furloughs, voluntary administration salary reductions, position eliminations, and operational spending limits.

FY21 Staff Furloughs

For FY21, which began on July 1, 2020, a furlough was instituted for all administrative, faculty and classified non bargaining employees. To minimize the impact on employees in our lower pay bands, an interim furlough policy was developed. On March 16, 2021, President Nellis announced that the University-wide furlough will come to an end ahead of schedule at the end of March.

Budget-Related Updates


Ask Us

We are committed to transparency with our University community regarding our financial challenges and how we are responding to them. We also invite your constructive solutions and ideas. We will continue to update our FAQ both with new information on this developing situation and answers to your specific questions.


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