Ohio State University recently launched a 10-year plan called the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program to help its undergrad students with debts by raising $800 million.
The University, which counts over 8,000 undergraduates per year, claims that half of its students graduate with an average debt of $27,000.
Consequently, this 10-year plan will cost the Buckeye State roughly $110 million per year. However, the money should help students with scholarships, paid internships, and work opportunities.
Nevertheless, the Ohio State University is not the only school in the US that tried to help its undergrads by offering financial help, given that the total student loan debt in the US (in Q1 2021) amounted to $1.73 trillion.
Smaller schools such as Amherst College (Massachusetts) did something similar back in 2008–09 by replacing loans with scholarships in financial aid packages.
On top of that, many colleges offer financial aid to low-income families in order to avoid student debts. Yet, only a few provide financial help to all students, regardless of their income.
That said, this Ohio State initiative will mark the largest attempt to help students erase loan debts.
How will the program work?
Ohio State will give students grants and scholarships in addition to paid work opportunities, programs on financial literacy, career coaching, etc. Students will have to do the following:
- graduate within four years
- participate in financial literacy programs
- participate in work opportunities
- join a debt-free education
- submit the FAFSA annually
The Scarlet & Gray Advantage program will begin in the autumn semester of 2022 as a pilot program.