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OU regional campuses provide close-to-home options

Ohio University students hear a lot about the Athens main campus, but there is not always word on what happens at OU's five regional campuses. Besides Athens, OU has branches in Ironton, Chillicothe, Zanesville, Lancaster and St. Clairsville. 

OU's regional campuses are more affordable than the main campus, which is a draw for some. While the main campus tuition is about $13,746, other branches are $6,178

Mallory Gray, a sophomore studying early childhood education, considered this factor when switching from Athens to Lancaster. 

Gray began her college career at the Athens campus but ultimately decided to transfer to the Lancaster campus. She wanted to be closer to home and pay less for college but remain a Bobcat. OU Lancaster was the perfect compromise for her. 

"It feels more homey," said Gray. "It's a lot smaller than the (Athens campus). There are only two buildings, so you kind of see the same people all the time."

The Athens and regional campuses created "One OHIO" in 2021. This is an initiative that brings OU campuses closer together. 

"In addition to developing recommendations for a sustainable financial model, the study served a larger purpose: providing a road map for improving efficiency across all academic units and campuses," a page detailing the initiative on OU's website stated. "The initial work of the RHE Task Force was then expanded to include and unite all Ohio campuses and functions."

OU Southern Interim Dean Debbie Marinski classified this as an important factor for the university to run as one body. 

"We rely a lot on different services that the Athens campus provides," said Marinski. "For example, our students have access to some of the mental health resources on the main campus that we can't provide on our campus." 

Marinski also spoke on the importance of OU's focus on educating students and changing their lives for the better. She noted this as one of the main commonalities between every campus. However, the university campuses do have their differences.

"A lot of our students have additional responsibilities in their families," said Marinski. "A lot of our students simply don't want to leave the community within which they live, so a lot of them are choosing to stay on a regional campus where they can get that quality education that Ohio University brings to students."

The OU regional campuses also have no shortage of resources for students, just as the main campus does. This is something Gray appreciated when looking to transfer to OU Lancaster. 

"You can still apply for really good scholarships here, too," said Gray. "I know that they do have the counseling services. They have they do some first-gen stuff I believe."

Each OU campus gives high school students the option to participate in College Credit Plus classes to obtain college credit in high school. Avery Brown, a freshman studying communications, took advantage of the courses offered by OU Chillicothe through her high school. 

"I had both my Writing and Rhetoric part one and two taught by a qualified teacher that was hired through the branch and the high school," said Brown "The rest were a combination of online classes and hybrid classes for the most part."

Brown now attends OU Athens, and though she sees the two as separate experiences, taking classes through OU Chillicothe prepared her for the Athens experience. 

"I do think that overall going to OUC had a really positive influence on the way my credits have worked out and the way my classes have transitioned," said Brown. "I feel like my classes at OUC really set me up to be successful here."


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