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Otterbein University Announces No Increase in Tuition for Third Year, Expands Popular Financial Aid Program and Introduces Four New Majors

Otterbein University Announces No Increase in Tuition for Third Year, Expands Popular Financial Aid Program and Introduces Four New Majors


Otterbein University is strengthening its commitment to affordability and access by freezing tuition for the third consecutive year and expanding a popular financial aid program targeting Columbus City Schools into several other local school districts. There will be no increase in tuition for traditional full-time undergraduates for the 2016-2017 academic year. 

The tuition freeze was approved by the Otterbein Board of Trustees at its fall meeting on Oct. 24. Tuition rates for adult and graduate students will be decided at the Board’s February meeting. Additionally, Otterbein received an approval notice from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) for four new majors on Oct. 23: business analytics, business and organizational communication, criminology and justice studies and educational studies. Students can begin studying all of the new programs in the fall of 2016.

“We are investing in students first by offering the majors they need to secure in-demand jobs of the future while making an Otterbein education affordable. In addition to offering new majors, Otterbein ensures success with ready access to dedicated faculty, unique student experiences beyond the classroom, and high levels of student engagement in the campus community,” said Otterbein University President Kathy Krendl. 

Otterbein enrolls close to 2,400 undergraduates at its Westerville campus. This is the third year in a row the Board of Trustees voted to hold tuition steady.

The expanded financial aid program, designed to allow low-income students to live on campus and fully participate in the life of the campus, has not only increased enrollment from Columbus City Schools five hundred percent, it has increased the first year retention rate so that students from Columbus City Schools now exceed the success rate of the campus as a whole. This program is now also being offered to low income students from Westerville City Schools, South-Western City Schools and Whitehall-Yearling School districts.

“A freeze on tuition, coupled with our generous financial aid packages, will help many families pay less to attend Otterbein while still receiving the same quality and nationally-recognized programs and degrees,” said Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, vice president for enrollment management. “Private schools can be just as affordable as public schools once all the factors are taken into account such as tuition, merit aid, scholarships and financial aid offerings. And our four year graduation rate is 16% higher than the average for the state public universities. Our goal is to be accessible and affordable for families.”

The full-time undergraduate tuition will remain $31,424 for the 2016-2017 academic year. When scholarships and financial aid are factored in, most students pay significantly less than the published tuition.

Krendl noted, “Access and affordability are one of our funding priorities for our Where We Stand Matters campaign, launched in 2014. With the help of donors, alumni, friends and family, we can also reduce costs through generous scholarship offerings and community support. We are fully convinced that Otterbein’s distinctive undergraduate education programs offer a compelling value by combining an intimate learning environment with extensive experiential learning opportunities. The combination brings value to both our students and the communities they serve.”

Students interested in learning more about Otterbein, specifically opportunities for scholarship and financial aid are encouraged to fill out the affordability estimator at www.otterbein.edu/estimator. They may also contact the Office of Admission at 614-823-1500 or email uotterb@otterbein.edu.