Frequently Asked Questions

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Accountability | Articulation & Transfer | Financial Aid | General Information | Higher Education Budget & Finance | Residency | Tuition



How are campuses being held accountable for the funds they currently receive?

Each institution's board of trustees is accountable for how money received by the institution is spent. The Board of Regents evaluates each institution's financial health using a standardized method modeled by Klynveld, Peat, Marwick and Goerdeler (KPMG) accounting firm. Three financial ratios and acceptable threshold ranges for each ratio are used to gauge an institution's financial condition.

A significant proportion of campus appropriations is performance-based. The largest portion of state funds, the State Share of Instruction, is based on statewide average costs, and campuses have an incentive to keep costs low.


Articulation & Transfer

How is Ohio helping students who transfer from one institution to another complete their degrees?

Regents staff and hundreds of faculty members from Ohio colleges and universities are working to improve the statewide Articulation and Transfer policy to guarantee the transfer and application of credits to majors/degrees among all public institutions of higher learning. The system went “live” beginning with the fall 2005 academic term. As the next step in developing a seamless pipeline of credit transfer for Ohio students, a statewide group is working on standards to match technical courses taken at secondary and adult career-technical education institutions to state institutions of higher education. Another statewide group is working on addressing issues of alignment between high school and college entrance expectations.


Financial Aid

Where can I find information about financial aid programs available through the State of Ohio?

There are a variety of grant and scholarship programs administered by the Ohio Board of Regents State Grants and Scholarships Department to aid students as they pursue higher education. A complete listing of these programs is available at this link :

Is there a number I can call to ask about my eligibility for financial aid?

For assistance in determining program eligibility, students are encouraged to call the Ohio Board of Regents toll free financial aid information hotline at 1-888-833-1133. They may also wish to contact their prospective institution‘s financial aid office directly.


General Information

What is the Board of Regents?

The Ohio Board of Regents is a nine-member coordinating board with two ex-officio representatives from the State Legislature created in 1963 by the General Assembly to:

  • provide higher education policy advice to the Governor and General Assembly;
  • develop a strategy involving Ohio 's public and independent colleges and universities;
  • advocate for and manage state funds for public colleges; and
  • coordinate and implement state higher education policies.

Who can I talk to for general information about how to get to college?

The Ohio Board of Regents College Access Information Hotline encompasses all areas related to postsecondary options and is available at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734), Monday thru Friday. An Information Specialist is on hand to provide direction to individuals who call to learn about college preparation, financial aid, articulation and transfer, and general information on colleges and universities throughout Ohio . The hotline enhances the current State Grants and Scholarships toll-free hotline (1-888-833-1133) by providing users a comprehensive list of Internet links to other financial aid resources, a list of college access organizations such as OCAN, TRIO and College Tech Prep, and by providing financial aid information packets to students and families.

How many four-year campuses are there in Ohio?

There are 13 public four-year campuses and one free-standing medical college in Ohio (click here for a full list). There are also many independent colleges in Ohio.

How many two-year campuses are there in Ohio?

There are 23 community and technical colleges, 24 university branch campuses and five independent two-year campuses in Ohio (click here for a full list).


Higher Education Budget/Finance

What is the SSI formula?

The State Share of Instruction (SSI) formula is a formula used to distribute General Revenue Fund dollars appropriated to the SSI line item (235-501) in the Board of Regents' operating budget. The purpose of the SSI is to pay for a portion of instructional costs incurred by campuses. At approximately $1.5 billion, the SSI represents 74% of the Regents' total operating budget.

SSI dollars are distributed directly to Ohio's public colleges and universities through a formula primarily driven by enrollments that are classified into models based on levels of instruction and the statewide average costs of each model. For example, it costs more for a campus to offer an advanced engineering course than it costs to offer an introductory history course. Therefore, enrollments in introductory courses are funded at a lower rate than enrollments in more advanced courses.

What is block obsolescence?

The term block obsolescence is often used to describe the simultaneous aging of a large block of campus facilities in a relatively short time period. Ohio invested heavily in capital infrastructure at the state's colleges and universities during the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s to accommodate the baby boom generation. In fact, more than a quarter of all academic-related buildings were built between 1965 and 1985, and less than 20% were built, acquired or last rehabilitated after 1985. A significant number of these older campus buildings are in need of technological upgrades and physical improvements to meet today's modern standards and building codes. This block of buildings will become increasingly obsolete as campus capital needs go unmet.

What is an endowment?

  • An endowment is an aggregation of assets donated to a college or university over many years by private citizens to be used for specific purposes, often to be used at the direction of the donor. Endowments benefit higher education institutions in a number of ways, including:
  • Provide Stability – Because the principal is not spent, endowments provide earnings year after year. This reliable stream of earnings allows institutions to make strategic plans many years into the future.
  • Lead to Higher Quality Institutions – Endowments allow institutions to provide a higher level of quality than would otherwise be possible. Without endowments, institutions would have to raise tuition or seek additional public funding in order to enhance current programs or to simply maintain programs at current prices.
  • Encourage Innovation – Endowments enable research institutions to take intellectual risks that may lead to important discoveries in science, medicine, education, and other fields.



What is the process for determining residency at an Ohio public college or university?

Colleges and universities make thousands of residency decisions each year. Admissions applications ask whether the student has lived in Ohio for 12 months prior to enrolling. If they answer "no" they are automatically entered as non-residents and required to pay the out-of-state surcharge. The student must then fill out paperwork and prove residency based on the residency rule. Students may object to their residency status when they receive the bill for the surcharge.

According to the Ohio Administrative Code, the intent of the Residency Rule is " to exclude from treatment as resident…those persons who are present in the state of Ohio primarily for the purpose of receiving the benefit of a state-supported education. "

General Residency Rule: 12 months

The general rule is that students must have lived in Ohio 12 months prior to enrolling at the college or university and should not be receiving income from out of state sources. Students may prove residency by showing lease agreements proving domicile for the last 12 months. They may also need to prove that they are not dependent upon out of state income by showing federal income tax returns.

For General Residency Rule Descriptions, see Ohio Administrative Code 3333-1-10 C 1, 2, & 3.

Exceptions to the General Rule

There are five exceptions to the General Residency Rule. For Exceptions to the General Residency Rule Descriptions, see Ohio Administrative Code 3333-1-10 E 1-8. These exceptions include provisions for:

  • Part-time Students – E1
  • Active Duty Military (two exceptions) E2 and E3
  • Employer Transferred – E4
  • Migrant Workers – E5
  • Community Service (changed in August 2003) – E6
  • Marital Hardship (changed in August 2003) – E7
  • National Guard -- treatment equal to US Military – E8
  • Residents of Contiguous States employed in Ohio : ORC 3333.32

What role does the Board of Regents play in the determination of a student's residency?

The Ohio Board of Regents functions as a coordinating board and thus does not have the legal ability to overrule a school's decision concerning residency. Regents' staff may assist a residency officer in interpreting residency rules, but the enabling language of the Ohio Revised Code (3333.31) gives the authority to make residency determinations to the colleges and universities.

Schools are audited by Regents for compliance with the residency rule. Disagreements between Regents and the school, or oversights by the school are written in the final audit report sent by the Chancellor to the President of the college or university. Regents may also issue guidelines that we could expect the schools to adhere to during audits.



What are tuition caps?

Tuition caps represent the maximum annual amount a state college or university may raise instructional and general fees charged to in-state undergraduate students. Tuition caps are typically established in the biennial operating budget bill, and have historically ranged from 3% to 12.9%. The current FY 2006-2007 budget bill establishes a cap of 6% or $500 for a full-time student, whichever is less.

What is sticker price?

Sticker price is the gross cost of tuition charged to students. Sticker price does not reflect the reduced net price that many students actually pay as a result of financial aid, grants and scholarships. For example, the in-state undergraduate sticker price tuition at Miami University is $21,410 in FY 2006. However, the average net tuition price that most Miami undergraduates pay is actually $9,542 because Miami gives all in-state undergraduates at least two forms of financial aid.

How much is tuition at each college?

The Board of Regents each year produces the Fall Survey of Student Charges , an annual report containing a complete listing of the instructional and general fees at every public college and university in Ohio . This report contains data for in-state and nonresident students, as well as for undergraduate and graduate students.

Where does tuition revenue go, and how are these dollars used by campuses?

Tuition revenues are generally unrestricted dollars that go into each campus's general revenue fund. This is unlike the policies in some other states where tuition revenues from public colleges and universities are funneled to the state's general revenue fund.

Each public institution in Ohio retains its own tuition revenues and uses these dollars for a variety of purposes, particularly to cover instructional costs, which include faculty compensation and related departmental expenses. Tuition revenues may also be used to cover costs for student services like admissions, counseling and career guidance; merit- and need-based scholarships; logistical services; executive management and general administration; as well as costs for utilities, custodial services and physical plant operations. Tuition revenues may also be used to support the operation, construction and equipment costs for capital facilities like classrooms, computer labs, libraries and recreation centers.

Why don't students from certain areas in neighboring states pay out-of-state tuition in Ohio?

By law, Ohio public institutions are required to charge an out-of-state surcharge to out-of-state residents attending Ohio institutions. However, Sections 3333.17 and 3333.18 of the Ohio Revised Code allow state-assisted institutions to enter into tuition reciprocity agreements with state-assisted institutions in contiguous states. Currently, there are reciprocity agreements in place with institutions from Indiana , Kentucky , Michigan and West Virginia .

When institutions and state agencies meet to discuss the possibility of creating a tuition reciprocity agreement, some of the following factors are considered when establishing the terms of the agreement:

1) Ease of access from institution-to-institution;
2) Geographical location of each participating institution;
3) Distance between institutions;
4) Population base of the identified reciprocity eligible counties; and
5) Programs offered.

One of the purposes of reciprocity agreements is to create ease of access for commuter students. Typically, when tuition reciprocity agreements are created, the agreements are formed along border regions and usually with no more than two counties within the state.

Under the terms of reciprocity agreements, the agreements may be amended and must be renewed every two years. This provides an opportunity to balance the agreements to reflect fluctuations in enrollments at each institution.