COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson, PhD delivered her first State of the University Address Thursday.
Dr. Johnson started leading OSU just over six months ago, and she already has big plans. One of the biggest barriers she wants to address over the next 10 years is student debt.
Dr. Johnson says this is well within the university’s reach and student debt is a burden for alumni working today. She wants to make sure all undergraduates are debt-free upon graduation, and plans to lead the nation as the first university to offer a zero-debt bachelor’s degree.
This is something that won’t be accomplished right away, it’s part of a decade-long mission and p;an.
Johnson says the university plans to fund the plan by using existing resources and philanthropic giving.
“Even when low-income students manage to put together the funds to graduate, the debt they incur on the way can be a real burden, $27,000 on average for Buckeyes graduating with debt. Almost half of our recent alumni with loans tell us they find it difficult to make their payments,” said Johnson.
Johnson says she doesn’t want to see loan payments keep graduates from pursing dream jobs, graduate school or even buying their first homes.