Ohio higher education

photo of WGU Notebook
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

An online-only nonprofit university that started offering classes in Ohio a year ago is now a sticking point in the budget process – with the House stripping recognition for it and the Senate bringing it back. 

WGU has 3,200 Ohio students enrolled in bachelor's and master's programs in business, K-12 education, IT and health. Laura Rush of Columbus received her MBA in health care management from WGU in 2016.

photo of Sen. Sherrod Brown
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Senator Sherrod Brown is pushing for a bill that would give states incentives to help students graduate from college debt-free.

Brown is co-sponsoring the Debt-Free College Act,  which would offer states more federal funding for their public universities if they spend more money helping eliminate college costs for students. The funds would be matched dollar for dollar.

a photo of the Kent campus
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University is expanding the buyout it originally offered to staff members. Trustees voted Wednesday to make the retirement incentive program available to the faculty, too.

The university's master plan, “The Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State," calls for an emphasis on research. That means recruiting research-oriented faculty. To help fund the shift, the school is hoping to use about $18 million in expected savings from employee retirements.