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Ohio's Private Colleges and Universities Announce Summer Visit Days July 13 and 14

June 30, 2015

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University is proud to announce that the institution is joining a statewide collaboration among Ohio’s private colleges and universities. The historic collaboration is beginning with a new summer program designed to allow families to visit up to four private schools over two days, July 13 and 14.

Ohio’s Independent College Visit Days are aimed at helping families understand how affordable a private college education can be. The days also highlight other benefits of attending a private college including a higher four-year graduation rate and lower default rate on student loans.

“Our commitment is to make sure the value of an Otterbein education – one that truly prepares students to succeed in life after graduation – is one that families can afford,” said Otterbein University President Kathy Krendl. “Big opportunities should never mean big debt.”

Families visiting two participating schools during the official Ohio Independent College Visit Days July 13 and 14 who document their visits on Instagram using #YOUCANVisitDays will be entered to win one of five $1,000 YouCan Awards.

Ohio joins a select number of states that are joining forces with competing peers to highlight access and affordability at private universities. Presidents and vice presidents of enrollment management at Ohio’s private institutions started this conversation a little less than a year ago in partnership with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUO), leaders agreed that it was time to tell the story of affordability.

“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. Our goal is to be accessible and affordable for families,” said Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, vice president for enrollment management.

Ohio’s private universities provided $1.25 billion in financial aid and scholarships to students in the 2013-14 school year—a 20 percent increase in just the last three years. And the cost of a private university is more affordable when you learn the facts: students who start at a private college are more likely to graduate from that school and they’re more likely to do so faster than at a public university. Private universities in Ohio have a 53 percent 4-year graduation rate, compared to 34 percent for state schools.  In addition, borrowers from Ohio independents have a lower default rate on student loans than states schools – 6.9 percent compared to 12.8 percent.

To learn more about Ohio’s Independent College Week and to register, visit www.youcanohio.org/visitdays.

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