Saving money for college is a smart investment. An investment that will pay off for many years as statistics indicate that an individual with a bachelor’s degree will earn almost $20,000 more per year than a high school graduate while an associate degree holder will earn nearly $5,000 more per year than someone with only a high school diploma.

While your investment in higher education will likely payoff, there are ways to make college more affordable and for students to get more bang for their buck. The University System of Ohio provides flexible and low-cost options to help Ohioans complete their education

In Ohio, we encourage students to look into 3-Year Degree Plans. A 3-Year Degree plan shows students how to complete a traditional bachelor's degree in three years. The main goal is to ease the financial burden on students while still providing them with a quality education. Completing a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four years will save students money.

A 3-year degree also will help students complete their college education. Only 56% of students in Ohio public universities complete their bachelor’s degree within six years. 

Advanced Placement – Advanced Placement (AP) courses are advanced classes offered in high school that count towards graduation. Students earn college credit by taking the AP exam at the end of the course. Students pay a small exam fee instead of paying tuition for the college credits they earn.
Ohio is one of only a few states to offer guaranteed college credit to students who achieve at least a median score on the AP exam. Ohio students scoring at least a ‘3’ on an AP exam are guaranteed college credit at any Ohio public institution. The exact number of credits and how those credits apply toward a degree varies, but they usually count toward general education curriculum requirements.

Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP) – Sometimes referred to as “dual enrollment,” the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP) allows high school students to simultaneously earn college credit and high school graduation credit through successful completion of college coursework.

Career-Technical Credit Transfer (CT²) – CT² allows high school and adult career-technical students who successfully complete specific technical programs to enter public colleges and universities with credits in-hand, saving students money and time. Ohio business and industry benefit from more employees with higher education and advanced skills.

Early college high schools – Early college high schools allow students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree. Early college high school programs have been started in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Elyria, Toledo and Youngstown.

A variety of options are available to help students accelerate their learning, including Advanced Placement Courses, Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Programs (PSEOP),  Career Technical Credit Transfer, and Early College High Schools.  (Boxed Insert goes here)

Every Ohioan has a college or university within 30 miles of their home. This proximity allows Ohio students to work while attending classes. The regional campuses and community colleges offer more affordable tuition, and allow students to live at home.

Another low-cost option available to students in the University System of Ohio is the comprehensive credit transfer system. This allows students to start college at a regional campus or community college and transfer to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Attending regional campuses or community colleges can help reduce the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Many regional campuses now offer bachelor’s degrees and many community colleges feature partnerships with universities that allows students to earn an associate degree and then continue toward a bachelor’s degree through the partnership.

At the Ohio Board of Regents, our goal is to increase the number of students that complete. The more students who complete their degrees, the better off Ohioans will be.