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Graduates are honored during the Ohio University Southern graduate recognition ceremony on May 2, 2021, in Ironton. Starting in the fall, most West Virginia residents will qualify for in-state tuition for courses taken on Ohio University campuses, including Ohio University Southern.

HUNTINGTON — Universities across the country are brainstorming ways to enroll more students, and Ohio University has a new plan to attract more West Virginians across the river.

Starting in the fall, most West Virginia residents will qualify for in-state tuition for courses taken on Ohio University campuses, including Ohio University Southern in Ironton. The cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is almost $10,000.

“This state reciprocity agreement is wonderful news for Ohio University and prospective students in our region,” Ohio University President Hugh Sherman said in a release. “While this partnership will certainly help expand enrollment at Ohio, more importantly it will help meet the region’s workforce needs and bring additional financial resources to the state of Ohio.”

Currently enrolled and new incoming students may apply to receive in-state tuition rates for any undergraduate major for courses through Ohio University Athens, Chillicothe, Eastern, Lancaster, Southern and Zanesville campuses. Courses completed on eCampus will be charged at the non-resident rate.

“This agreement helps Ohio University expand our reach to more students looking for a high-quality college experience close to home,” Candace Boeninger, vice president for enrollment management, said in the release. “More students in our region will have access to an excellent and affordable Ohio University education. We look forward to welcoming even more West Virginia Bobcats beginning this fall.”

Back in West Virginia, Marshall University officials advised future college students and their families to dive deep into account scholarship opportunities as they research universities.

In-state tuition and fees at Ohio are $12,840 per year for a full-time student. West Virginia students pay $8,552 per year at Marshall.

West Virginia students also have the opportunity to obtain the Promise Scholarship from the state, which covers more than half of tuition at Marshall.

Both universities offer financial aid, including the OHIO Excellence Awards at Ohio and various merit-based and private scholarships at Marshall. Both also offer cost calculators on their websites.

“When we look at universities, choosing higher education is one of the most highly involved decisions,” said Marshall Provost Avinandan Mukherjee. “It’s an investment. You have to do your research and consider your options. Comparison shop to get the best value and return on your investment. We have the highest value for your money and return in this area and nationally. We have much more affordable tuition. We are a Carnegie research university. We have a friendly feel. There is a lot to get at a highly affordable price point.”

As the rising cost of higher education and the student loan crisis remain at the forefront of conversations in America, Marshall remains below the national average for in-state public schools, which is $9,687, according to U.S. News and World Report.

“Students and families are often pleasantly surprised to see how affordable a degree from Marshall can be,” said Tammy Johnson, executive director of admissions at Marshall. “Financial aid staff are ready to walk you through that process. A lot of private scholarships from donors and alumni is there. Our merit money is generous already, but then you have those private dollars. It’s no surprise Marshall has been named one of the most affordable institutions.”

It is not too late to enroll at either university, as well as to complete the FAFSA.

Reporter Taylor Stuck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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