YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When you buy in bulk at Sam’s Club, you believe you are getting a good deal. That idea is now making its way to Ohio’s colleges and universities, with Youngstown State University ready to start a bulk rate tuition in January.
Under the previous tuition plan, undergraduate students could register for 12 to 16 credits per semester and pay the one “bulk” tuition rate, which is currently $4,044 per semester.
YSU is expanding that bulk rate to 12 to 18 credits, meaning that students can take two additional credit hours for the same price.
Students who want to finish their degrees quicker said they see the benefit in the program.
“As a student, we like to get out of here in four years,” said Bryce Miner of Columbiana.
Right now, there are 990 students who take more than 16 credit hours and pay an extra $334 for each of those hours.
But there are those who said the change will not affect them. Among the 12,471 students on campus, many take less than 12 hours to work or take care of families.
“An 18-hour credit load is pretty rigorous academically,” said Neal McNally, YSU vice president for finance and business operations. “So not all students are going to be able to or choose to take advantage, but the opportunity exists, none the less.”
A YSU student who takes 18 hours a semester, from the very first day on campus, can save one semester in the time it takes to get his or her degree.
YSU’s tuition is already the lowest among Ohio’s 11 largest public universities and $1,620 below the statewide average.
“We’re about 9 percent below the national average and about 20 percent below the state average in terms of tuition already,” said McNally.
The new bulk rate is just one of a handful of initiatives by YSU to lower the cost for students to earn their degrees. The university also reduced the number of credit hours required to earn a bachelor’s degree by starting a new program called “Penguin Jump Start” for freshmen to get a head start on earning credits. The university also expanded the College Credit Plus program, allowing students to earn college credit while in high school.