COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Responding to
unprecedented challenges to students and parents seeking an affordable,
high-quality college education, Ohio Northern University on Thursday announced a
new initiative designed to reduce tuition, lower student debt and help students
graduate in four years.
Called “The Ohio Northern Promise,” the initiative stresses affordable academic
excellence and hinges on four key elements:
Lowering tuition from 2013-14 rates by 20 percent to 25 percent. The intent
is to bring the tuition sticker price closer to that charged prior to the
recession for new Ohio Northern students. Net tuition for current
undergraduate students will be frozen next year at 2013-14 rates.
Offering a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee in most undergraduate programs to
lower student debt. Students who meet specific standards and expectations
for progress toward a four-year degree, but who are unable to graduate in
four years, will receive an additional semester (16 credit hours) at no cost
for completing the degree.
Continuing to engage students in high-impact practices to deepen and enrich
learning. Ohio Northern will continue to offer opportunities such as
internships, capstone courses, field experiences, study abroad and
Sustaining the university’s excellent record of job placement and graduate
and professional school admission rates. Since 2006, the average placement
rate within six months of commencement is 93 percent.
Speaking at a news conference at The Ohio Statehouse, Ohio Northern President
Daniel DiBiasio noted that the current economic downturn has created financial
challenges for all sectors of higher education nationally. While Ohio Northern
has remained academically strong and one of the top-ranked private universities
in Ohio and the region, the current pricing approach must change, he said.
“The conventional high-tuition and high-financial aid model is not working today
and is no longer sustainable,” DiBiasio said. “This is a way forward that seeks
to make a quality education more available to the best students we can attract.
It’s all about affordable excellence. ”
While a few other colleges and universities have lowered costs in reaction to
current economic realities, The Ohio Northern Promise goes further, DiBiasio
said. “Ours is also a commitment to value, specifically regarding high-impact
practices and student placement,” he said.
DiBiasio was joined Thursday by Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey, who
called The Ohio Northern Promise a development that will benefit both students
and the state of Ohio.
“The core mission of higher education in Ohio is to develop talent for the
state’s future workforce,” Carey said. “Ohio Northern has historically done this
by drawing students from Ohio and throughout the nation to its excellent
programs in STEM and other areas. When these students graduate and remain in
Ohio, they have a direct benefit to the overall Ohio economy. The Ohio Northern
Promise continues a tradition of educational excellence while making it more
John Bishop, chair of Ohio Northern’s Board of Trustees, also spoke, saying the
initiative “confirms the university’s realization that a new model is needed,
expanding access to college while insisting on excellence. The Board of Trustees
sees The Ohio Northern Promise as a way to achieve affordable excellence for our
students, preserve the academic traditions of the university, and show a new way
for American higher education.”
Ohio Northern Promise was developed after a year of meetings with students and
faculty to discuss how the institution might sustain academic excellence while
making it more affordable. On Oct. 5, the Ohio Northern University Board of
Trustees approved the plan.
“The Ohio Northern Promise demonstrates that we have listened, thoughtfully
considered, and developed a plan that is right for our time and that taps into
the national and statewide conversation about college costs, completion, student
outcomes and return on investment,” DiBiasio said.
Ohio Northern University, located in Ada, is a private, comprehensive
university with five colleges. The university offers one of the nation’s highest
returns on investment, with graduates consistently ranking in the top 10 for
median starting salary among private, non-profit colleges and universities.
Ohio Northern University has received numerous accolades for its degree
programs, ranking second among Midwest regional colleges according to U.S.
News & World Report, No. 37 among baccalaureate colleges according to
Washington Monthly’s College Rankings and one of the nation’s top schools in
The Princeton Review’s annual college guide. It has been listed in
Colleges of Distinction, a guide that profiles America’s most distinguished
teaching-centered colleges and universities.