College Comeback

A Summary of Ohio Law and Policy on Outstanding Student Balances Owed and Debt-Forgiveness Models that Can Be Applied in Ohio


Approximately 1.5 million Ohioans have some college, but no degree (or credential). This presents a critical challenge to maximizing the economic opportunity for that individual as well as for the greater good of the State of Ohio’s economy. These students enrolled in postsecondary education seeking a degree, but we didn’t get them across the finish line.

As higher education institutions look for innovative ways to expand enrollments and meet state and regional workforce needs, the Ohio Department of Higher Education is sometimes asked:

“Can Ohio institutions offer debt forgiveness in exchange for new tuition?”  The answer is yes. 

This guidance from the Ohio Department of Higher Education helps explain why and how.