Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.91
Liaison Tony Gillund
Submission Date May 9, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

The Ohio State University at Marion
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
1.79 / 4.00 Matt Moreau
Director of Enrollment Management
Enrollment Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

University tuition rates are set by senior leadership at the Columbus campus for all six Ohio State University campuses. The current regional campus full-time tuition rate is $3,570 per semester, approximately 2/3 of the Columbus campus’ tuition rate and one of the lowest four-year university tuition rates in Ohio. Ohio State Marion awards $1.1 million annually in campus-based scholarships and need-based grants. In addition, beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year, OSU President Michael Drake earmarked $20 million in “President’s Affordability Grants,” giving full-time students with high to moderate need an additional $1,000 per year in university-based grant funds.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The “Fresh Express Wellness Initiative” is a new program that started in February 2017 to address food insecurity issues for members of the Marion campus community. In collaboration with Marion City Schools, Department of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Health, Marion Public Health, and Mid-Ohio Food Bank, the Marion campus offers free, fresh produce on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. On average, approximately 200 individuals are served during each produce market. The Fresh Express Wellness Initiative is also in the process of developing plans to open a small food pantry for the 2017-2018 academic year to provide low income students with access to healthy foods and promote wellness.

• LifeCare Alliance Partnership: Approximately 10 OSU Marion staff participate weekly in the Meals on Wheels program. OSU Marion owns a Wednesday route in which we deliver meals to elderly, infirmed, or shut-in people around Marion from about 10:30 to 12:30. We serve between 15 and 20 clients each week. It is an entirely voluntary effort which is supported by the Ohio State Marion administration. Just this year, a team from Marion Technical College has also joined the effort.

• “Marion Matters,” a local community service organization whose mission it is to assist those living in generational or situational poverty by equipping them with information and resources to successfully meet their life goals, began a program entitled “Bridges Out of Poverty” seven years ago. The program provides extensive training for local educators, human service agency representatives, and other members of the Marion community regarding the culture of poverty and how to develop and implement effective strategies that can provide low-income individuals with the tools and opportunities they need to elevate themselves and their families out of poverty. Since the inception of the program, over 20 Ohio State Marion faculty and staff have participated.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

• Eighth Grade Tours: For over 20 years, the Marion campus, in cooperation with the Tri Rivers Career Center and the 11 middle schools within the Tri Rivers district have run a program entitled “Eighth Grade Tours.” Nearly 1,500 area eighth grade students (most of whom live and attend school in low-SES areas) are brought to campus over multiple dates each fall to learn about the importance of attending college, interact with college faculty and staff, attend sessions related to various academic disciplines, tour campus, and participate in a college planning session where they learn about the recommended courses they should choose to take in high school to better prepare themselves for the rigors of collegiate study or for the job market should they elect not to attend college.

• The “Buckeye Best Program” is a group established in 2015 for Harding High School graduates in the GEAR UP program. This hands-on, experiential group helps new students acclimate to their new role as a college student and their surroundings. This year, the program was expanded in which Marion campus staff make monthly visits to Harding High School to establish relationships with the GEAR UP students which will help ease the transition following graduation.

• Marion Harding High School “Presidential Pathway Program” will provide wrap-around support for Harding graduates in accomplishing their acceptance plans during the year after high school graduation. A multi-institution team of advisors, including staff from the Marion campus, will work with Harding graduates with whom they have built relationships to answer questions, encourage, guide or connect them with other needed resources, such as job training, alcohol/drug counseling, etc., so they can continue on a meaningful path.

• Project Inspire: This project, established by teachers at Benjamin Harrison Elementary School, is to inspire youth to design their futures and help students understand opportunities that exist beyond school. Staff members from the Marion Campus were invited to partner with the school and volunteer once a month to visit three 3rd grade classrooms to talk about careers that exist in higher education. Approximately 65% of the students who attend this elementary school are identified as coming from low income backgrounds.

• P.A.L.S.: The Pride And Life Skills mentoring program (PALS) is a cooperative venture between The Ohio State University at Marion, the Boys & Girls Club of Marion County, and Marion Public Schools to develop a mentoring program that is a win-win situation for both elementary, middle school students, and college students. PALS, connects college students from the Marion campus with grade school children in the Marion area to provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities for kids. The Boys & Girls Club matches program volunteers with school age children and provides each a useful handbook to direct them through the mentoring process. Students earn 1-credit per quarter of independent study by attending mentoring sessions regularly, coming to occasional meetings, and writing a two-page report about their mentoring activities at the end of each semester.

• The Ohio State Marion Financial Aid Office provides over 35 free college financial planning and FAFSA completion workshops each year, both on campus and on-site at
area high schools, middle schools, libraries and community centers. Our area School Counselors have been terrific partners in helping to organize and publicize these
workshops, which are attended largely by low-income, prospective first-generation college students and their parents.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

• We are proud to report that the Marion campus offers the most generous scholarship program of any of the university’s smaller campuses. Due to the generosity of area donors, the Marion campus is able to award over $1,000,000 per year in merit and need-based scholarships and grants to our students. For the 2015-2016 aid year, $1,042,125 has been awarded to 582 students, just over half of our entire student body.

• In addition, the GoBuck$ program was established in the Marion City Schools in 2010 through the George and Dorothy Alber Scholarship endowment. "GoBuck$” is a win-win for education in Marion. The pilot program incentivises attendance, academic achievement, and promotes higher education. Imagine getting your first college scholarship before you even learn to read. That is now a reality through a partnership between The Ohio State University at Marion and Marion City Schools. The Ohio State University at Marion and Marion City Schools have partnered to institute a pilot program beginning in the 2010-2011 academic school year and beyond that could mean increased attendance and academic performance in Marion City grades K-12, while providing up to $100,000 in scholarships annually to attend college.

• Ohio State Marion has committed to provide tuition vouchers of $25 and $50 per quarter to Marion students meeting attendance and achievement criteria set forth by the school system. Students have the potential of earning up to $3,300 tuition from kindergarten through high school, if they meet all attendance and achievement criteria set forth by the school. Because cost is often a deterrent for otherwise gifted students to pursue a degree, organizers feel the program will pay dividends well beyond high school graduation. The “GoBuck$” program provides a real dollars and cents incentive for students to achieve in earlier grades, then continue that habit of achievement at The Ohio State University. Additional fundraising efforts have allowed us to pilot the expansion of the Go Buck$ program into all of the public high schools in Marion County.

The Freshman Foundation Program offers need-based grants to Ohio students. Eligibility is determined on the basis of financial need as established by federal guidelines, and on academic and leadership credentials, race/ethnic/tribal background, county of residence, potential first-generation college graduate, and other factors.


The Scarlet and Gray Grant is university-funded grant assistance that is awarded to Columbus campus undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Our Young Scholars Program also provides funding for low-income students.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

• With the exception of Delaware county, northern Franklin county, and some parts of Union county, the rest of our service area (Marion, Morrow, Hardin, Crawford, Seneca and Wyandot counties) is considered as a moderate-to-low SES area, with low college attendance/graduation rates and stagnant or declining population growth. In addition to all of the recruitment materials we send to high school students, high school counselors, Veterans agencies, human and social service agencies, etc. our admission and student life staff visit all of the schools and agencies in our service area 2-3 times per year to develop relationships with and recruit students. Approximately 75% of our Student Services staff were themselves first-generation college students; most came from families of modest-to-low means and are particularly sensitive to and comfortable dealing with prospective students of all ages who are in a low-SES situation.

• 30% increase since 2014 in personal outreach efforts from admission and financial aid staff to low-SES students to assist them with college planning.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

• The Ohio State regional campuses still offer open admission to Ohio residents who have earned a high school diploma or GED.
• In addition to the responses above, it should be noted that the Ohio State regional campuses serve a significantly poorer student population than the Columbus campus, with approximately 50% of regional campus students being eligible for Federal Pell Grants, compared to approximately 22% for Columbus campus undergraduates.

Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

• Our generous scholarship program (as described above) is equally available to both full and part-time students.

A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

• While the campus does not offer on-site child care or have any formal arrangements with area providers, most students have combined financial aid (including campus scholarships and grants) that exceed the cost of tuition. Those excess funds are distributed to the students before the start of each semester for them to use for expenses such as books, supplies, child care, transportation, etc.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s ACCESS Collaborative Program is an academic and social support program to assist low-income, single parent students who are pursuing a college education at The Ohio State University. While the program strives to increase the retention rates of all low-income, single parent students, attention is given to the unique circumstances of students from diverse social groups, including minorities. By minimizing the barriers that may prevent their full participation, the ACCESS Collaborative Program works to create a campus climate that is inclusive for all.

Services Offered:
• Programming on parenting and life skills; child development; and financial planning
• Single parent group
• Priority registration
• Scholarship opportunities, mentoring, professional development, evening child care, housing assistance

• In the 2016-2017 academic year, the Marion campus awarded $17,000 in “Completion Grant” funds to non-traditional students who had exhausted their Federal financial aid as a result of having to attend part-time to take care of family, work responsibilities, etc. while enrolled.

• The “Step Up Grant” fund provides funding to cover the tuition cost for the first course taken by new non-traditional students as an incentive to encourage initial enrollment at the university.

• A new scholarship, specifically for non-traditional students, has been established by Dr. Denise Fahey of Denver, Colorado who was, herself, a non-traditional student at Ohio State Marion and went on to achieve a BA, Master’s, and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. The “Dorothy Francis Carver Scholarship Fund” honoring Dr. Fahey’s grandmother, will benefit non-traditional students attending Ohio State Marion starting in Autumn, 2017.

• The Marion Campus established a military and veteran student lounge in 2015. This lounge fosters connectedness and support between non-traditional students from this shared culture and offers a respite in between classes to promote wellness within this group.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.