Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
There have been more out-of-state applicants to Ohio State than in-state applicants for the first time in school history.
However, vice president for strategic enrollment planning, Dolan Evanovich, said it’s part of the university’s strategic plan.
“Ten years ago, we had less than 20,000 applications and this year we are just over 35,400 applications and more of those applications are from out-of-state nonresidents in the first time in the history of the university,” he said.
Out-of-state students made up about 19,900 and in-state students made up about 15,500 of the roughly 35,400 applications received.
The university built an enrollment plan three years ago, studying the demographics in Ohio, the Midwest and across the country.
Evanovich said that in Ohio, the number of high school graduates has been decreasing over the past three years. The state is losing 2 to 3 percent of high school graduates every year. He said “the same picture is very true in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois.”
The solution was to make investments in states, such as Florida, Texas and California, that had “double-digits growths in high school graduates,” Evanovich said. The university already has recruiters placed in Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta.
“What we really want to do is keep the best Ohio kids here and create a brain gain of really smart students from across the country and now across the world because we are using our gateways that we opened up in Shanghai, China and Mumbai, India,” he said.
OSU President E. Gordon Gee was recently in Sao Paolo to lay the groundwork for a third center.
OSU is becoming more national and international. The goal is to have about 25 percent of OSU’s freshmen be from out-of-state with about 18 percent of that 25 being domestic and the remaining being international, Evanovich said.
“We feel that mix of about 75 percent in-state 25 percent out-of-state nonresident is a pretty good mix for a university our size to really be a national and international university,” he said.
OSU is pushing to include the best kids from Ohio, the nation, and across the world in order to create a healthy competitive environment and to diversify the university’s population.
Even though out-of-state students pay more tuition than in-state residents, Evanovich wanted to point out that this is not the “driver” behind the strategic plan. However, with the sequestration, a series of budget cuts set to remove $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade, he said “the revenue does help when you have students paying more from nonresidents. It helps in tight economic times.”
Despite these difficult times for some, the university must stay focused on affordability, so that students aren’t in major debt by graduation day, Evanovich said.
This mindset worked well for Elizabeth Fernandez, a third-year in civil engineering, who is originally from Tampa, Fla. She had always wanted to go out of state with OSU being her second choice. However, that changed when the university offered her a scholarship through the Office of Diversity and Inclusions.
“All the other out-of-state schools that I got accepted to I did not get scholarships for or not enough scholarships, so since I got the biggest scholarship from here, it definitely helped,” Fernandez said.
During hard times, not only is the university thinking about affordability, but students are as well. Charles Smith, a political science coordinating adviser, said the relationship between out-of-state tuition and what OSU can provide is an “internal struggle.”
“‘Is my education at Ohio State going to be worth the high cost of having to pay out-of-state tuition?’ And if they are getting over that first hurtle, then I think that is a feather in OSU’s cap because it means that they are willing to come here to get the education that we provide,” Smith said.