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Saturday, Nov 18, 2017

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OHIO continues to ease the financial burdens of higher education by focusing on student access, affordability initiatives


As tuition rates and other college costs continue to fluctuate, many prospective students and their families across the nation struggle to afford higher education. Ohio University, through a combination of developing unique, institutional affordability initiatives and partnering with key national college affordability efforts, is addressing these concerns while supporting timely degree completion.

OHIO UNIVERSITY JOINS THE OPEN TEXTBOOK NETWORK
Ohio University Libraries is one of the newest members of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), a nationwide consortium of approximately 600 academic institutions collaborating to encourage the use and growth of open educational materials—primarily through license-free textbooks and academic freedom.

“Our partnership with the Open Textbook Network is just one way that Ohio University has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring our students have efficient, affordable access to course materials, regardless of their financial means,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “We are always looking for ways to provide a quality educational opportunity that is sustainable for students and their families.”  

Benefits of the program are manifold and include:

  • The cost of textbooks has increased 73 percent since 2006, according to a 2016 report by the Student Public Interest Research Groups.
  • College Board, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1900 that focuses on expanding access to higher education, estimates the average student budget for books and supplies is more than $1,200 each year.
     

“Open text initiatives can have a significant impact on student cost, but there are other benefits as well,” said Janet Hulm, assistant dean for collections and digital initiatives. “They provide a platform for faculty where they are not necessarily confined to a single textbook because of its cost, but instead have the flexibility to write, edit and publish outside of traditional publishing models or even utilize multiple open texts for classroom use.”

Ohio University Libraries will host an OTN workshop for interested OHIO faculty on October 17 to learn more about open textbooks and provide an opportunity for attendees to freely promote research and share ideas for other textbook affordability initiatives.

THE OHIO GUARANTEE
Ohio University’s Class of 2019 was the first to experience The OHIO Guarantee, 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.

  • Scholarships and financial aid packages hold their value under The OHIO Guarantee.
  • Because the cost of attending Ohio University remains flat for each cohort, the same percentage of tuition costs will be met by any renewable scholarship, assuming that scholarship criteria are maintained.
     

THE OHIO SIGNATURE AWARD PROGRAM
The University has established the OHIO Signature Award Program, a set of scholarships and grants designed to optimally balance financial support and recognize the achievements and contributions of incoming freshman students.

  • The program includes generous merit-based scholarships, supportive need-based grants and a set of awards unique to the University that blend both merit and need-based criteria. 
  • The OHIO Signature Awards program provided institutional merit and need-based funding to 81 percent of the incoming freshman class on the Athens Campus in 2016-17.
     

THE OHIO MATCH
The OHIO Match is the University's Undergraduate Scholarship Matching Program; since 2013, it has focused on bringing the best and brightest minds to Ohio University and making them lifelong Bobcats.

OHIO dedicated $25 million to strengthen the University’s endowed scholarship program in 2013.

The goals of the program include:

  • Improving access for students who are unable to attend Ohio University without additional financial support.
  • Increasing recruitment of the best and the brightest students.
  • Providing additional financial support that holds value over time.
  • Expanding the impact of scholarship fundraising.


The OHIO Match has already transformed the lives of many OHIO students and their families. Find out more about their stories by visiting The OHIO Match program page.