Logan Senior Provides Example Of An Exception To OU Guaranteed Tuition Program

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The Ohio University Board of Trustees is continuing with the guaranteed tuition plan, formally known as "The Ohio Guarantee Program," which they approved earlier this month.

Under this plan, the total costs for each entering cohort of degree-seeking undergraduates would be set each year by the Board and remain constant for four continuous years, 12 consecutive semesters or 128 credit hours. As currently envisioned, it would cover tuition, room and board, most course and technology fees, orientation and graduation fees. It is also proposed to provide an incentive for students to graduate in four years.

Logan High School senior Sydney Hunter is unsure exactly how the guaranteed tuition plan is going to affect her. She plans to begin pursuing a business degree at Ohio University this fall, a degree that exceeds the credit hours guaranteed in the new tuition plan.

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Craig Cornell explains that with any program greater than 128 credit hours, the student would automatically be awarded an extra term. The plan is built in a stair-step form, meaning when Sydney, who will be in the first group of students to enroll under the plan, has to stay an extra term to finish her business degree, she will simply move to the next group that started a year after her and pay that rate for her final term, as opposed to jumping ahead four years in cost.

When mapping out this plan, the Trustees envisioned transparancy with the state and with the student's parents as a significant goal.

"They will know exactly what those costs are going to be from day one so they can plan three years ahead for it and be prepared for it so that cost isn't going to be larger than expected," Cornell explained. "No one likes increases, so the idea of building that in right from the beginning allows them to know exactly what it is going to be and not have to be concerned about that portion of it."

It is also proposed to provide an incentive for students to graduate in four years something Sydney agrees it would do, "If it would be cheaper than the five years it would definitely push me to try to hurry up and finish."

The plan still has to make it through the Ohio Board of Regents for final approval.