YSU Offers Strategies to Reduce the Cost of College

By Elaine Ruse
YSU Associate Vice President, Student Enrollment & Business Services

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Should your college choice be based on the price tag?

No. But legitimate concerns about student debt should represent a major point of consideration for anyone faced with the difficult decision of whether to attend college. 

The significance of the academic experiences YSU offers are second to none when associated with actual out-of-pocket cost to attend and the value of a degree earned. The quality of the higher education YSU provides is difficult to outperform. 

YSU has developed strategies to address the rising cost of tuition. Two of those strategies include the Penguin Tuition Promise and a reduction to out-of-state tuition. YSU out-of-state students now pay only $360 more per academic year than students from Ohio. With in-state tuition of $9,953, YSU’s tuition is among the lowest in the region and third-lowest among Ohio state universities.

The Penguin Tuition Promise offers a fixed tuition rate for four consecutive academic years, which assures fixed tuition, including room and board, for the pursuit of an undergraduate degree. It is designed to make the cost of college predictable and affordable and encourages students to complete degree programs within four consecutive academic years.

YSU further offers ways to reduce costs and time to degree completion: 

• Taking college-level examination program tests (CLEP) gives students the opportunity to earn college credit for what they know. These exams test knowledge of introductory subjects and save time and money.

• Earning college credit in high school. YSU offers and accepts classes taken while in high school AND taken for college credit at the same time.

• Advanced placement courses taken in high school where students who receive a passing score on an exam earn college credit.  

• High school seniors can apply for admission to be considered for YSU scholarships upon acceptance.

• YSU offers merit-based scholarships to incoming freshmen and transfer students that recognize academic achievements and encourages completion of the YSU Foundation Scholarship Application. 

• YSU’s Sokolov Honors College offers tuition and housing scholarships that can be combined and stacked.

• YSU offers payment plan options that make it easier for students and families to manage payments.

Whether you have financial need or affluence, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is necessary to receive a complete financial aid offer.  The Expected Family Contribution or EFC figure from the FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for scholarships, grants, work-study and loans. 

In addition, there are federal tax benefits for higher education that will reduce net costs each calendar year.

Research indicates that college graduates earn more than high school graduates. In most cases, a college degree has lifelong financial earnings benefits. A college degree is an investment in the future and valuable in ways that are difficult to measure.

The recently concluded “We See Tomorrow” capital campaign raised $126,187,126 to benefit YSU and its students. Many of the people who donated received degrees from YSU.

“If it weren’t for Youngstown State University, many of their lives wouldn’t have been the way that they were fortunate to have them go,” said YSU President Jim Tressel.

There are incredibly talented and successful YSU graduates who were willing to give back to their alma mater in an unprecedented manner because their return on investment for a degree from YSU was life-changing.

YSU recognizes that college is expensive and has put into practice strategies to help students reduce the cost by exploring all financial aid options. 

Students, who pursue all forms of available financial aid, often do not pay the sticker price because YSU offers numerous scholarships through the YSU Foundation. These scholarships are in addition to federal and state grant funds, and outside funded scholarships that students qualify to receive.