Gov. Ted Strickland has made all out-of-state veterans and their families “honorary Ohioans” for the sake of providing them in-state tuition rates.
Called the Ohio G.I. Promise, the program is part of the state’s effort to attract and retain students under the University System of Ohio’s 10-year Plan for Higher Education.
“No other state has done this,” said Michael Chaney, the Ohio Board of Regents’ director of marketing and communications. “We really don’t have an idea yet of how many people might take advantage of this.”
The Ohio G.I. Promise was initiated July 8 and followed more allowances in the federal G.I. Bill that, depending on the amount of military service, could cover the cost of in-state tuition and housing at the most expensive public school in the state.
Under Ohio’s new plan, out-of-state veterans are charged for in-state prices.
“Maybe some G.I.s will take advantage of it,” President Lester Lefton said, “but I don’t see this as having a major impact on any Ohio school.”
Chaney suspects some residents of nearby states may be attracted, though.
“Our plan is to market in other states,” he said. “There are people in the border states around Ohio that may want to go to Ohio schools but choose not to because they would be paying out-of-state tuition.”
As part of the G.I. Promise, an Ohio G.I. Promise Council was established to market the state’s education options, Chaney said.
Kent State has increased its marketing efforts outside of Ohio as well.
“We are going to be recruiting more out-of-state students and this could augment it,” Lefton said. “But I don’t think it’s likely because most G.I.s are older. Most 18-to-22-year-olds want to get away from home . whereas G.I.s tend to want to go back home.”
But Lefton said the new Ohio plan won’t do any harm.
“I actually don’t think lots of people will do it,” he said, “but if only a few do, it’s a good thing.”
Contact principal reporter Ben Wolford at [email protected]