COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — President Kristina M. Johnson announced Friday that Ohio State plans to offer a debt-free bachelor’s degree within 10 years.
Johnson aims to raise $800 million for student scholarships, expand job and internship programs that allow students to gain experience while earning a paycheck, provide grant assistance, and extend coaching on financial education, leadership and work skills, the university said in a news release.
Coined the Scarlet & Gray Advantage, the program aims to help students get a debt-free degree.
Ohio State will provide financial aid for low- and middle-income students, coupled with work opportunities and programs to help students develop financial literacy for their college years and beyond.
In return, students will be expected to participate in financial literacy programs, take advantage of work opportunities and join a cohort of like-minded students focused on a debt-free education, the release said.
The program includes several goals:
Scholarships: To expand financial support for students, Ohio State will raise $800 million, including $500 million in endowments, over the next decade to expand undergraduate scholarships. To help kick off this campaign and enhance the impact of early gifts, the university and lead donors are creating a $50 million pool to match the first $50 million in private donations. Donors who contribute at least $100,000 to endowed funds while the match is available will see their gifts’ impact double in size.
Work opportunities: Working with employers throughout the state and country, Ohio State will expand its network of paid job and internship opportunities so that students have more opportunities to earn money, develop job skills and prepare themselves for post-college careers. The university will build on a robust network of relationships, both on campus and with outside employers, to offer work opportunities in a variety of fields.
Education and coaching: Scarlet & Gray Advantage students will participate in financial literacy programs, leadership and career counseling, and other programs to enhance their path to success.
Pilot program: In Autumn 2022, the university will select 125 new first-year students to be part of a Scarlet & Gray Advantage pilot program that will hone strategies to optimize university services and identify opportunities to further streamline student support. Details about how the cohort will be selected will be determined next year as the incoming class takes shape.