Access, affordability and excellence

Ohio State gives students a clear path to the American Dream.

“Affordable excellence is fundamental to who we are as a land-grant university.”
— President Michael V. Drake, MD

Lead the national conversation: Ohio State is a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, which aims to increase the number of talented low- and moderate-income students on college campuses. It is also a charter participant in the University Innovation Alliance. President Drake serves in leadership positions for numerous higher education groups whose work broadly aligns with the university’s vision.

Expand student aid: The President’s Affordability Grants are part of an initiative to dedicate at least $400 million by 2020 to improve the value of an Ohio State education. In the program's first year, it provided aid to more than 12,000 low- and middle-income students; in 2016-2017, the program expanded to approximately 15,700 students.

Focus on excellence: Ohio State established the new University Institute for Teaching and Learning to enhance the learning experience for students, share best practices and apply student-centered analytics to improve outcomes. Ohio State has been recognized nationally for its strong committment to undergraduate teaching.

Ohio State students joining President Michael V. Drake on his 2016 State Tour helped convert a flower garden into a vegetable garden at the Civic Garden Center in Cincinnati. The produce from the converted garden will be shared with local food pantries in nearby urban neighborhoods that are currently qualified as food deserts. Ohio State President Michael V. Drake talks about community service projects across the country where Buckeyes have been working hard to address food insecurity. At the Civic Garden Center in Cincinnati, he and students on the 2016 State Tour worked at converting a flower garden into one that would produce fresh vegetables and fruit for local food pantries. Ohio State students joining President Michael V. Drake on his 2016 State Tour helped convert a flower garden into a vegetable garden at the Civic Garden Center in Cincinnati. The produce from the converted garden will be shared with local food pantries in nearby urban neighborhoods that are currently qualified as food deserts. Robert Sanders entered the Young Scholars Program as a sixth-grader in 1989 and stayed with it through his graduation from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business in 2000. Having grown up in Over-the-Rhine during a time when crime, drugs and economic depression plagued the Cincinnati neighborhood, people ask him how he was able to carve out a future for himself with so many challenges: “I owe everything not just to Young Scholars but to Ohio State as well.” Robert Soto Sr. (left) and Robert Soto Jr. pose prior to an Ohio State affordability forum hosted at Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Soto Jr. is a junior at Youngstown Early College High School and a member of Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program. He plans to attend Ohio State in the fall of 2018 and said, “Young Scholars has meant a lot to me. I love the feeling of pride in being a Buckeye and being a part of something.” (Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons) Zaire Sims, a senior at Ohio State’s College of Social Work who grew up in Cincinnati, talks about the critical difference the Young Scholars Program has made in helping her succeed in college. Sims was a panelist at a forum on access, affordability and diversity and inclusion during President Michael V. Drake’s 2016 State Tour. Robert Soto Jr. (second from left) talks about the ways Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program has helped him achieve success in high school during an Ohio State affordability forum at Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Listening to Soto are (from left): his father Robert Sr., Ohio State President Michael V. Drake and Ohio State Chief Diversity Officer Sharon Davies. (Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons) President Michael V. Drake, staff from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and panelists from a forum about access, affordability and diversity and inclusion pose for a photo in Cincinnati during the 2016 State Tour. A student asks a question during a forum on access, affordability and diversity and inclusion – key tenets of President Michael V. Drake’s 2020 Vision. The forum was part of the 2016 State Tour. Panelists included President Drake and alumni of Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program. Ohio State students, staff and alumni take a group photo with local legislators and Next Generation Films staff in Mansfield, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons) Ohio State President Michael V. Drake and a group of Ohio State students learn from a staff member at the National First Ladies Library in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons) Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Sharon Davies talks with Zaire Sims, a senior at Ohio State’s College of Social Work who grew up in Cincinnati, during the 2016 State Tour with President Michael V. Drake. Sims was a panelist in a forum about access, affordability and diversity and inclusion – key tenets of Drake’s 2020 Vision. She talked about the critical difference the Young Scholars Program has made in helping her succeed in college.

“It’s our job, particularly at public universities, to make a college education available to people from our community, from our region to be able to grow the quality of our enterprise.”

osu.edu, “Opportunities for the people of Ohio”

Preparing future Buckeyes
The Buckeye Student Leadership Academy is an opportunity for high-achieving first-generation, rural and/or underrepresented minority students to experience an intensive taste of college life over 3 ½ days.

American Talent Initiative
Ohio State is a founding member of a national initiative to increase the number of talented low- and moderate-income students on college campuses.

“Talent knows no geography ... A deeper commitment by the nation’s top colleges and universities to focus as a collective to attract and support more talent will benefit the nation by unleashing potential, encouraging economic development, increasing the tax base, and accelerating the country’s ability to compete in today’s global knowledge economy.”

The Washington Post, op-ed by Michael V. Drake and Daniel R. Porterfield, “The new American Talent Initiative on college campuses. It isn’t about singing or dancing.”

“(Ohio State) is among four public four-year universities and a handful of private universities in the state that will receive money with the aim of preventing low-income students from dropping out due to financial problems.”

Associated Press/WOSU Radio, “Ohio State Receives $210,000 For Student Emergency Grants”

“When she was in fifth grade, her teacher nominated her for the Ohio State University's Young Scholars Program, which aims to increase diversity at OSU and improve degree completion among academically talented, low-income, first-generation students.”

NBC News, “Not 'Just Another Teen Mom': Foster Child Graduates College, Debt-Free”

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Faculty: Find assistance through the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching.