Have you ever been utterly betrayed?
I’m talking the kind of betrayed where you feel like your heart was tied up to the end of a monster truck and dragged around. The kind of betrayed where suddenly the world seems less beautiful because people can be so ugly.
I have — and it cost me thousands of dollars.
I came to Ohio State for many reasons, but one of the most important was that I knew the university was well-known for its study abroad programs. I dreamed about studying abroad for years before I ever came to college and last summer, my dream came true. I had the opportunity to study in Spain and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.
That is, until the Board of Trustees reared its ugly head.
Friday, the Board approved a measure to be recommended to the Ohio Board of Regents that students would no longer have to pay tuition to OSU when they study abroad and instead would only have to pay a $400 fee. Seems obvious, right?
Why should a student have to pay tuition to both their host university and their school back in the states?
I’ve been there. I worked an entire summer scraping roadkill and watching paint dry to scrape (quite literally) together the money to pay for both tuitions and I still had to take a loan out.
In the long run, I don’t regret it. I’m a Spanish major and I wanted to be sure my classes taken abroad would transfer exactly because the university can be picky about what classes can count for major requirements.
But it’s extremely frustrating to watch the Board vote on a measure that would have prevented me from taking out the loan. If I would have known, maybe I would have waited to study abroad.
If I would have known, I would have saved thousands of dollars.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome for all the students out there who have yet to study abroad. A few board members at the meeting even said they proposed waiving the fee — meaning students wouldn’t have to pay anything to OSU.
That’s great, but what about all the money the university got from students who already abroad? How can the Board approve a measure that will allow students to study abroad for only a few hundred dollars — or even without OSU costs at all? What will happen to the thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands of dollars) brought in each year from students studying abroad?
The money has to come from somewhere and I don’t know where yet.
What I do know is that I trusted OSU and it cost me.