Student Loans for Ohio State University Students
A top-rated college with one of America’s largest and most comprehensive campuses located in Columbus, Ohio State University is ranked as the 18th best public university in the country.
Ohio State University, or OSU, is home to almost 60,000 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees, with over 200 different majors to choose from. The majority of the OSU population are high-achieving undergraduate students attending school full-time straight out of high school, with an average age of 21.
Full-time students who are unmarried and within a year of high school graduation generally live on campus in one of the many residence halls that offer assistance with the transition to college life and convenient access to classes and the numerous clubs and activities that are a vital part of student life.
OSU is a world-class research university, attracting students from all over the world. Celebrating diversity and equality, OSU provides numerous opportunities and all-inclusive living arrangements as well as hundreds of student organizations. Although OSU is a large school, class ratios are low with an average of 13 students per one faculty member, and 62 percent of all undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students. OSU’s main campus is in Columbus, Ohio, although there are several regional campuses as well.
Cost of Attendance
In addition to tuition and school fees, there are several other factors to consider when determining your total cost of attendance at a higher-learning institution. You must also consider the cost of books, room and board, transportation, and incidental expenses. At OSU, the average tuition for an Ohio resident who is an incoming full-time freshman is $10,037 for the 2014-2015 academic year and $26,537 for non-residents. International students will pay an addition $500 a semester for support and academic services. Tuition and fees may vary by major also, and students should expect a 5-10 percent increase in these fees each year. Part-time students’ fees are calculated on a sliding scale.
Room and board costs are estimated to be $11,666 for the 2014-2015 academic year for both resident and non-resident undergraduate students. Housing options on campus at OSU vary and range from $5,350-$8,110 for the entire 2014-2015 academic year. Most require a dining plan that ranges in price, depending on if you buy a certain number of meals or the unlimited plan. Books and supplies are estimated to cost around $1,248, and additional expenses may be approximately $2,550 a year.
Additionally, international students, or those without adequate health insurance coverage, may be required to purchase Ohio State student health insurance at a cost ranging from $2,260-$2,432 for the 2014-2015 academic year under the Comprehensive Student Health Plan. These costs may be more or less, depending on the type of coverage needed as well. Parking costs at OSU range from $103.56-$771.24, depending on your choice of permit, garage or surface, and parking access.
- Buy your textbooks used, and resell your books at the end of each semester to recoup some of the costs.
- Take advantage of free usage of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) public transportation options open to students at the Columbus campus.
- Ride the free Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) provided by the Ohio State University’s Department of Transportation and Traffic Management to get around the campus, to and from parking areas, or the surrounding neighborhoods.
- If you must park on campus, choose one of the cheaper permits or options further out, and use the CABS to ride in to the Central Campus.
- If you already have health insurance coverage, be sure to submit a waiver to OSU proving that you have other coverage to avoid paying the fees for health insurance coverage that are automatically assessed.
- Explore the University Housing rates to determine the least expensive option available to you. For example, you may choose to live in a house with a common kitchen in order to avoid the dining plan requirement.
- Consider purchasing the Weekly Block 20 meal plan, which is the least expensive plan, providing you with 20 meals per week and $150 in BuckID cash that can be used at 100+ local merchants like a debit card or used to supplement your meal plan at on-campus dining establishments.
- Apply for free money in the form of grants and scholarships.
- Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine any federal, state, or institutional student aid you may be eligible for.
You can choose to pay your tuition in full each billing cycle, or you may opt in to the Tuition Option Payment Plan (TOPP) that allows you to combine all of your OSU costs and divide the total into fall and spring semester installments. There is a $30 fee for this service.
Submitting the FAFSA
Typically, the first step to discover what type of financial aid you qualify for is submitting a FAFSA. To do so, you will need your full name, birthday, Social Security number, school information, current tax records, and any other pertinent financial or income information. If you are a dependent student – if you are under age 24 and have no dependents or spouse – you will also need your parents’ Social Security numbers, tax records, and financial information. The FAFSA uses your information to calculate your expected family contribution, or EFC. This is then used to determine how much and what type of federal, state, or institution financial aid you may receive.
To complete your FAFSA, you will first need to create a FSA ID that will allow you to submit and sign your FAFSA electronically. This ID acts as your digital signature and also grants you access to your federal student financial aid information. Be sure to keep this in a safe place and do not share it with anyone. Once your FAFSA has been submitted, the school you have chosen will receive your EFC and other information directly. If you are awarded federal financial aid, it will go directly to the school on your behalf to pay for tuition and fees first and then room and board. If there is any money outstanding, that may be disbursed directly to you to cover additional educational expenses, including books and supplies, child care, and transportation.
Federal and State Financial Aid
Ohio State University accepts various federal and state-based financial aid options, including grants and student loans, most of which you apply for simply by submitting your completed FAFSA. To be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, register with the U.S. Selective Service between ages 18 and 25 if you are male, be considered a regular student in a qualifying certificate or degree program at least half-time, have a high school diploma or an equivalent, not have any federal loans in default, maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by OSU while receiving funds, and agree to use funds for educational purposes only.
Federal and state grants are forms of free money that don’t have be paid back and should be your first choice when seeking financial aid. Federal and state grants include:
- The Federal Pell Grant is based on your financial need, plans to attend school for the entire year, cost of attendance, and full-time or part-time status. Awards may be up to $5,775 for the 2015-2016 academic year for undergraduates pursuing their first bachelor’s degree.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) funding is federal money disbursed through the school for undergraduates and dependent on extreme financial need. Available funds and award amounts may range from $100-$4,000 and are determined on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is federal funding for those pursuing a career in teaching and agreeing to teach in a high-need, low-income environment for at least four years within eight years of completing the course of study the grant was used for. Awards are up to $4,000 a year.
- The Federal Work-Study program allows students with financial need to work on-campus part-time in order to defer costs of tuition.
- The Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) is a state-based grant program open to residents of Ohio pursuing their first bachelor’s degree as an undergraduate who demonstrate financial need. Award amounts vary year to year, depending on state funding.
- Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship: open to just 25 academic leaders entering their first year; awards up to the full cost of tuition for all four years and an additional $3,000 enrichment grant after the first successfully completed year; requires honors affiliation (3.4 GPA) and participation in the Eminence Fellows Program activities and events
- Presidential Scholarship: merit-based; awards vary and are renewable up to eight semesters if a GPA of 3.2 is maintained
- Distinguished Scholarship: merit-based; awards vary and are renewable up to eight semesters if a GPA of 3.2 is maintained
- Medalist Scholarship: merit-based; awards vary and are renewable up to eight semesters if a GPA of 3.2 is maintained
- Maximus Scholarship: eligible students are in the top 3 percent of their graduating class with qualifying test scores and not granted a Provost, Trustees, or Academic Achievement Scholarship; awards up to $6,000 a year for up to four years
- Provost Scholarship: granted to students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class with eligible test scores; awards up to $3,000 a year, not to exceed four years and cannot be combined with Maximus, Trustees, or Academic Achievement Scholarship
- Academic Achievement Scholarship: awarded to students in top 10 percent of their graduating class with eligible test scores; not to be combined with Maximus, Trustees, or Provost awards; awards up to $1,000 a year for a four-year maximum
- Trustees Scholarship: eligible students are in the top 20 percent of their graduating class with qualifying test scores and not awarded an Academic Achievement, Maximus or Provost Scholarship; awards $2,000 a year for up to four years
- National Buckeye Scholarship for Non-Ohio Residents: offered to incoming freshman from out of state in the top 40 percent of their class with qualifying test scores; awards up to $12,000 a year and renewable for up to eight semesters with a maintained GPA of 2.5; can be combined with other scholarships or grants as long as total award does not exceed the cost of attendance
- Young Scholars Program: diversity scholarship program for academically talented students in one of the nine urban school districts in Ohio; awards up to the full amount of tuition for all four years for participants in the program who graduate high school in good standing
- Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship for Ohio Residents: financial need and academic merit-based award granted to at least one incoming freshman from each of the 88 Ohio counties; renewable for up to eight semesters and requiring a GPA of 3.0 or higher to maintain; amount awarded may be up to full amount of in-state tuition costs
- International Undergraduate Scholarship: offered to eligible full-time incoming international freshman meeting academic standards; awards up to $4,000 a year, renewable for up to eight semesters with a maintained GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Freshman Foundation Program (FFP): need-based grant taking into account leadership and academic merit as well as race, ethnicity, county of residence, and first-generation college graduates; amount determined each year
- Morrill Scholars Program (MSP): includes the Distinction, Excellence, and Prominence Scholarship; are diversity scholarships open to high school seniors who are academic leaders promoting peer diversity in their communities; Distinction Scholarship awards the cost of tuition for both Ohio residents and non-residents and includes the cost of room and board, as well as provides a book allowance and incidental expenses allowance; Prominence Scholarship is for Ohio non-residents providing up to the full amount of in-state tuition and the out-of-state surcharge; Excellence Scholarship covers in-state tuition costs for Ohio residents
- Cooperative Scholarship Housing Program: includes the Stadium Scholarship Program for both men and women and the Alumnae Scholarship Housing (ASH) for just women; for those demonstrating financial need and proving academic merit; reduction in housing costs is provided for those accepted who agree to help maintain, govern, or manage their residence hall
- Scarlet and Grey Grant: based on financial need and good academic standing; amounts vary each year
- Second Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP): program participants are actively engaged in student life and maintain a GPA of 2.0; up to $2,000 is awarded upon completion and as a fellowship toward an experience
Most of these scholarship and grants are for undergraduate or students entering their first year of college and who plan to attend at the main campus. Graduate and professional scholarships, transfer student scholarships, and regional campus scholarships are available as well. The OSU scholarship page contains more information. You should also seek out any scholarships or grants outside of the university.
Student Loan Options
More often than not, scholarships and grants are not quite enough to pay for your total cost of attendance. This is when you may consider taking out a student loan. Federal student loans generally offer the lowest interest rates and the best repayment terms, and should be the first options that you consider. Federal student loans are offered to undergraduate and graduate students as well as the parents of undergraduate students. The U.S. Department of Education is your lender for loans disbursed under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Federal loans include:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: available to undergraduate students demonstrating financial need; interest is paid by the government during deferment; students may be eligible for between $3,500 and $5,500 a year, depending on student status, year in school, and dependent student status
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible and required to pay interest during all loan terms; loan amounts range from $5,500-$20,500, depending on status, year in school, dependency status, and type of student
- Direct PLUS Loans: parents of undergraduate students or graduate students eligible contingent on a credit check; can borrow up to total cost of attendance minus financial aid
- Federal Perkins Loan: eligible graduate, undergraduate, or professional students demonstrating financial need; funds administered by OSU up to $5,500 for undergraduates annually and dependent on school’s funding
- Health Professions Student Loan: students pursuing careers in certain health fields and demonstrating financial need may qualify for this federal funding disbursed by OSU; award amounts vary
- Nursing Student Loan: a need-based federal loan disbursed by OSU for students enrolled in the College of Nursing; award amounts vary
OSU also provides both short and long-term assistance options if you don’t need a full student loan but are having trouble covering your higher education costs. The Short-Term University Assistance program provides eligible students in good standing with $500 per term interest-free, if paid within 90 days, and funds are required to be paid back before more funds can be disbursed. Students may receive up to $1,000 via a Long-Term University Loan that has a 7 percent per year interest rate, and repayment starts within six months of leaving the school. Both of these options are meant for short-term, small amounts, and they are not intended to be used long-term.
Private student loans should be your last recourse, and OSU’s FASTChoice loan comparison tool can help you determine which lender and loan type are best for you. Additionally, the SimpleTuition website provides the most current and detailed student financial aid information.
Pay for Ohio State University*
|Total Avg. Cost||$24,159|
|Room & Board||Not Avail.|
|Financial Aid Information|
|Students Receiving Fin Aid||89%|
|Typical Grant Amounts|
|Avg. Other Stud. Loans||$11,570|
|%Receiving Other Loans||7%|
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*Data source is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) the data collection program for the National Center for Education Statistics