Award programs draw out-of-state students

Rachel Abbey

The University of Akron will offer reduced tuition to out-of-state students in good academic standing starting next year, according to the Associated Press.

Colleges across Ohio, such as Akron, Cleveland State and Youngstown State, have been taking action to attract out-of-state students. Kent State has the University Award Program.

The program has been offered to first-time freshmen for the past eight or nine years, said Chuck Rickard, associate vice president for enrollment services.

“We thought that would bring a richness to our student body,” he said.

The state gives money to universities to help pay for in-state students’ education, but universities receive nothing for out-of-state students, Rickard said. To help cover those costs, out-of-state students must pay a surcharge – $7,400 for Kent State students.

The University Award Program cuts those costs in half, he said.

The award helps Kent State attract out-of-state students by making the price more comparable to their home states’ college tuition, said Director of Admissions Nancy DellaVecchia.

Kent State’s more selective programs, such as architecture and fashion design, are a big draw, DellaVecchia said. Students are more willing to travel for them.

Rickard said the major difference between Akron’s program and Kent State’s program is that Akron’s is applicable in all 50 states, while Kent State’s program only extends to 17 select states.

When the program started, Kent State targeted neighboring states, DellaVecchia said. The university began adding more states, such as California and Texas, with growing numbers of high school graduates. Ohio’s number of projected high school graduates has been falling.

States such as Maryland and Florida were added to the program because of their strong pockets of alumni, DellaVecchia said. Those alumni often help the university recruit students.

The program has been successful for Kent State, Rickard said. About 200 out-of-state students per year came to Kent State when the program started. That has increased to about 500 out-of-state students each year.

“It’s made a big difference,” Rickard said.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].