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Ohio State is set to partner with other schools in an effort to make higher education more accessible and affordable for low-income students.

OSU and 10 other institutions will join in an pact aimed at sharing techniques on how to successfully keep students until graduation, an OSU release said.

The schools are aiming to create a “national playbook” of ideas on how to help low-income students. The founding members of the alliance have already raised $5.6 million for the project and plan to match that, the release said.

  • The other universities working with OSU are:
  • Arizona State University
  • Georgia State University
  • Iowa State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Texas at Austin

OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said more than three quarters of all OSU students receive some type of financial aid.

“This year, $147.8 million has been committed to financial aid (at OSU),” Lewis said in an email. “Seventy-nine percent of all OSU undergraduates receive some type of financial aid.”

The alliance partners hope to help low-income and first-generation college students. OSU has already started some of these efforts through some of its programs, including the OSU Young Scholars Program and the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male. The Young Scholars Program aims to help first-generation, low-income college students from urban areas, while the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male aims to improve the graduation rates of black men.

Students must meet federal requirements in order to qualify as “low-income,” Lewis said. A student’s expected family contribution is determined by what the student reports on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which in turn determines eligibility for a government-issued Pell Grant.

A Pell Grant provides federal aid to college-level students based on need, according to the federal student aid website.

The FAFSA must be completed in order for college students to receive federal aid, and in some cases, to receive scholarships. Every year, the government determines how much federal aid a student receives. A student’s expected family contribution is determined by what a student reports on his or her FAFSA, Lewis said.

Expected family contribution is a term for the process used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid.

Some students said they’re glad something is being done to address some many’s need of financial assistance.

First-year in computer science and engineering Sangram Grewal said he thinks it’s (OSU joining the alliance) very generous and will help the university with diversity.

Sana Asad, a first-year in exploration, said the alliance could help with tuition bills.

“It’s a good thing because paying for college is really hard,” she said.

Asad said people shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to pursue a higher education because of financial problems.

The alliance will communicate its results of how to best assist and retain low-income students with the public over the next three to five years, Lewis said.