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Board of Trustees to vote on waiving tuition for study abroad

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The OSU Board of Trustees is hoping waive certain requirements for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years that can make studying abroad more expensive for students. Credit: Photo illustration by Jon McAllister

The OSU Board of Trustees is hoping to waive certain requirements for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, which could make studying abroad less expensive for students. Credit: Photo illustration by Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editor

Studying abroad as an Ohio State student has been a significant financial undertaking for years. In the past, students studying abroad have been required to pay tuition to both OSU and their respective foreign university.

But last April, the Board of Trustees waived that requirement for fiscal year 2015, and is hoping to repeat that action with a waiver for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

However, the process is complicated for the university by stipulations in the Ohio Revised Code, which require the university to get state approval for a waiver every two years to correspond with the state’s biennial budget.

Students enrolled at Ohio colleges are required to pay a uniform instructional fee, regardless of how many credits they take. Prior to the university seeking waivers, students would commonly take leaves of absence to avoid double charges while studying abroad, a habit that became concerning to the trustees.

“Dis-enrolling causes the student to be ‘off our radar’ and to be at risk for travel-related situations such as manmade or natural disasters and medical emergencies,” according to a statement accompanying the board agenda.

Mallory Conlin, a fourth-year in psychology, had wanted to study abroad in France, but won’t have the chance because she’s graduating in August.

“The cost held me back. It would save a lot of money if I didn’t have to pay the OSU tuition requirement,” she said.

Kacie Ziemann, a first-year in public affairs, said the changes could increase her chances of leaving the country.

“It’s an expensive semester. Definitely knowing that information helps me,” she said.

Ali Ross, a first-year in finance, is studying abroad during May Session and said the biggest roadblock preventing her from taking a longer trip is not the money, but the difficulty of staying on track with her degree.

“The tuition requirement is waived for Maymester. I didn’t want to do two months so 10 days was good. Maybe I’ll do longer eventually,” she said. “I’m iffy about it because it’s hard to get the same core requirements at other universities that are required for my major.”

The Board of Trustees is set to vote on the issue on Friday.

4 comments

  1. Anyone who tries to say study abroad is more than a lengthy vacation is just full of it. I hope OSU does what it can to keep costs down for this extended party, but I hope they don’t reach into their piggy bank to add financial support to these students.

  2. Stereotypical study abroad programs are parties. On the flip side, students aren’t having fun in the USA?

    The vast majority of programs are academically rigorous. Take this international internship opportunity as just one example: http://oia.osu.edu/study-abroad/3772-rachel-stewart-on-the-job-training-in-australia.html

  3. Seriously, anyone who does study abroad for any reason other than to party/take a long vacation and see a new part of the world is deluding themselves. They are nothing more than long trips of binge drinking and vacationing.

  4. I will be studying abroad in the fall and as of right now I will have to disenroll from Ohio State in order to do so. Contrary to the comments already posted I am not studying abroad to binge drink. Ohio State says how we are global citizens in a global world yet they age hurting students from truly learning about the world by making us pay twice. Study Abroad will set me up with skills that are also marketable in the work place. Every college wants to have a strong study abroad presence. Ohio Stage is failing to have a true one became of this,let us be global citizens. I really hope that they pass this on Friday!! Please!!

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