Ohio State University (OSU) announced plans to eliminate student loan debt for undergraduates within the next decade, aiming to launch the debt-free pilot program in fall 2022. Here’s what you need to know about this week’s trends and how they could impact your student loans.
1 current trend within student loans for the week of Nov. 22, 2021
1. OSU to eliminate student loans for undergraduate degree-earners within a decade
Late last week, Ohio State University (OSU) launched the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program, a decade-long plan intended to eliminate student loan debt for undergraduates. Over the next 10 years, OSU plans to raise $800 million for scholarships to replace student loans in students’ financial aid packages. It will also expand work opportunities for students on and off campus.
To take advantage of the opportunity, OSU undergraduates will be required to to participate in financial literacy programs and commit to graduating in four years. The university plans to continually scale this program over the course of a decade, starting with a small pilot program in fall 2022.
“Scarlet & Gray Advantage will be distinctive in higher education by engaging students in securing their own financial destiny,” said President Kristina M. Johnson in a speech. “By teaching our students to successfully manage their finances, we will be offering far more than a debt-free degree — we will be turbocharging the next generation of change-makers.”
How this affects student loans
Debt-free programs of this scale are typically limited to private institutions. Once finalized, the Scarlet & Gray Advantage Program will be among the largest debt-free higher education programs in the nation, with all incoming OSU undergraduates at all campuses welcome to join.
While the program is not student loan forgiveness or free college, the expanded scholarship and work opportunities could help many students avoid long-lasting student loan debt, which the school estimates averages around $27,000. If OSU’s program is successful, it could pave the way for more public universities to pursue similar ideas.
For more information on the program, including a comprehensive FAQ section and how to contribute financially, visit OSU’s website.
Here’s how you can get prepared
Whether you’re new to student loans or well into repayment, it’s wise to stay informed about how your student loan rates could change. As 2021 continues, more opportunities for cheaper loans or loan forgiveness could open up; keep an eye on the Bankrate student loans news hub for the latest trends.