06:06 AM

​$15 million in President’s Affordability Grants will benefit 12,400+ students next year

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake announced today the launch of an affordability initiative that will provide need-based aid to thousands of Ohio State undergraduates — and could lower the cost of college next year for some in-state students.

Drake shared details of the $15 million President’s Affordability Grant program at the Board of Trustees meeting, where the board also voted to freeze costs for in-state undergraduates for the 2015-16 academic year. The comprehensive freeze is the first of its kind at Ohio State in at least 40 years and covers in-state tuition, mandatory and instructional fees, and room and board on the Columbus campus.

Michael V. Drake

“College affordability is one of the most important and pressing issues of our time,” said Drake, who identified access, affordability and excellence as key elements of his 2020 Vision at his presidential investiture in March. “While we work as a nation on long-term solutions, Ohio State is digging deeper to stem the costs for those who proudly wear the scarlet and gray.”

The combination of the cost freeze, proposed last month by Drake, with the President’s Affordability Grants of up to $1,500 for more than 12,400 low- and middle-income students are the latest steps in Ohio State’s long-term commitment to ease the burden of college expenses.

The President’s Affordability Grants will help more than one-third of in-state, undergraduate students on the Columbus campus.

Drake’s vision for the university would grow the need-based grant pool by $100 million over five years, beginning with the $15 million increase in student aid this fall.

The university will also dedicate at least $400 million by 2020 to lowering the cost and improving the value of students’ Ohio State education. At least $200 million will be generated through administrative efficiencies, and another $200 million will be developed from innovative financing strategies that don’t rely on tuition or tax dollars.

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“The value of an Ohio State education is a function of cost and excellence. Our goal is to drive ever increasing value as aggressively as we can,” Drake said. “We will continue to work with our broad constituency to achieve our goal of setting the standard for excellence in higher education.”

Two groups of current university aid recipients are eligible to receive President’s Affordability Grants in addition to their existing support. Low-income students who qualify for federal and university need-based grants will receive $1,500 affordability grants. Middle-income students who qualify for only Ohio State need-based aid will receive $1,000 affordability grants.

The President’s Affordability Grant program also expands the pool of students eligible to receive need-based aid to include more middle-income families who currently do not qualify for state, federal or university grants. These students will receive $1,000 grants.

The grant program is designed to help curb debt by decreasing student borrowing. Students who receive the grants will be encouraged to take advantage of the university’s nationally recognized, peer-to-peer financial coaching program before finalizing their loan decisions. The counseling program, which all students are encouraged to use throughout their time at Ohio State, is free of charge.

Ohio State has frozen in-state tuition and mandatory fees since 2012-13 at $10,037 per year. As a result, many students will graduate next year paying the same rate as when they started school.