10:07 AM

President’s Affordability Grant program expanded for 2016-17 academic year

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake announced today an expansion of the President’s Affordability Grant program, which provides need-based financial aid to thousands of in-state undergraduates.

During his annual State of the University Address, Drake said Ohio State is prepared to direct $20 million in grants to approximately 15,700 undergraduates next year, including an estimated 3,000 students on Ohio State’s regional campuses.

At the start of the current academic year, the university invested $15 million in affordability grants of up to $1,500 each for more than 12,000 low- and middle-income students on the Columbus campus. Today’s announcement brings the total investment in the President’s Affordability Grant program over two years to $35 million.

The grant program was introduced last spring as part of a broad approach to reducing student debt. Affordability grants were combined with a comprehensive freeze on in-state tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board on the Columbus campus, ultimately lowering overall college expenses for some students.

“I am thrilled to announce today that we are on track to increase our investment in the affordability program,” Drake said. “We are honoring our promise of access to an affordable education – not at the expense of our academic and research excellence, but by operating a more efficient and innovative university.”

At his March investiture, Drake outlined his vision to grow the need-based grant pool by a total of $100 million over five years. He also said the university will dedicate at least $400 million by 2020 to lowering the cost and improving the value of students’ Ohio State education, with funding generated through administrative efficiencies and innovative financing strategies.

“I want to re-emphasize that balancing affordability and excellence is both complicated and critical. It’s not simply about tuition,” Drake told the audience. “It involves decreasing time to graduation, identifying ways to help more students succeed, increasing scholarships and aid, and being evermore effective and efficient in our operations.”