10:29 AM

Ohio State celebrates progress activating talent

Two years ago, The Ohio State University became a founding member of the American Talent Initiative. Now a new report is highlighting the success the initiative is having in finding and educating that talent.

The American Talent Initiative is a first-of-its-kind partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ithaka S+R and the Aspen Institute to enroll and graduate an additional 50,000 low- and moderate-income students at top-performing colleges and universities over the next decade. The initiative has continued to grow and now has 108 member institutions from all areas of the country.

ATI member schools have increased enrollment of students who receive federal Pell grants by 7,291 since the 2015-16 school year. This momentum, highlighted in A 2018 Report on the Progress of the American Talent Initiative in its First Two Years, released today, indicates that ATI is on track to reach its goal. This fall, Ohio State enrolled 7 percent more new first-year Pell students on the Columbus campus at a time when admissions have never been more competitive.

Ohio State’s effort is aided by a commitment to access, affordability and excellence. The goals are a key pillar in the university’s Time and Change strategic plan.

“By controlling costs, increasing support for low- and moderate-income families and enhancing programs that support success in and out of the classroom, Ohio State is making an excellent college education more accessible and affordable for Buckeyes everywhere,” President Michael V. Drake said.

The university’s commitment includes more than $100 million in additional financial aid for low- and moderate-income Ohioans since 2015.

Initiatives include the Buckeye Opportunity Program, which covers any gap in the full cost of base tuition and fees for Pell-eligible, in-state students. The program launched this fall in Columbus and will expand to all regional campuses in January. It is expected to benefit about 4,200 students overall.

Ohio State’s Land Grant Opportunity Scholarships expanded last year to cover the total cost of attendance. The university also doubled the number of scholarships, which support Ohio students who demonstrate academic merit and financial need, to 176.

The President’s Affordability Grant program provides financial support of up to $2,250 to approximately 15,000 low- and moderate-income Ohio students annually.

The university has also held the line on the cost of higher education. Ohio State had the smallest increases in in-state tuition and fees from 2007-08 through 2017-18, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The university also launched the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee to provide a four-year freeze on in-state tuition, mandatory fees, housing and dining for each incoming class of Ohio students.