Office of Academic Enrichment Honors and Scholars Center

Ohio State outpaces graduation goals set by national coalition of universities

The Ohio State University and the University Innovation Alliance announced today that the consortium’s member institutions have far exceeded graduation targets set during the 2014 College Opportunity Summit.

Ohio State is among the 11 founding members of the UIA, a national consortium of public research universities working to improve student success. At its launch, UIA presidents set a goal to graduate an additional 68,000 students above their baseline projections over the course of 10 years, and committed to ensuring that half of those graduates would come from low-income backgrounds.

Six years in, the UIA schools have exceeded that goal by graduating an additional 73,573 students, increasing the number of graduates from low-income backgrounds by 36% and graduates of color by 73%. The institutions are now projected to graduate a total of 136,000 students by 2023. That would double the original goal launched at the White House College Opportunity Day of Action in 2014.

Since the launch of the UIA, Ohio State has graduated an additional 11,096 students above the university’s baseline projections – including increasing the number of low-income graduates by 33% and graduates of color by 70%.

“Ohio State is dedicated to ensuring that all students, especially low-income students and students of color, have the resources and support they need to succeed and ultimately graduate,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “We remain committed, in the next decade, to becoming the first university to offer a zero-debt bachelor’s degree at scale.” 

As part of UIA’s next phase of work, campuses will focus on eliminating disparities in educational outcomes based on race and ethnicity, income, generational status, gender and geography. UIA members remain committed to producing more graduates, collaborating on innovation, sharing data transparently and practicing fiscal discipline.

“The Ohio State University and its leadership have been a critical partner in our efforts to advance an ambitious agenda on the behalf of students,” said UIA Executive Director Bridget Burns. “The campus should be very proud of its progress to date, but we all know there’s more work to be done and we look forward to this next phase of collaboration and innovation.”

Since its founding, the alliance has worked to test, iterate and scale proven student success initiatives across its network. To date, its work has included the scaling of predictive analytics, proactive advising, completion grants, a student success chatbot and new career services practices across the member institutions.

The alliance will continue to report progress toward its defined goals and share the lessons learned from its work. Most recently, the alliance released its Completion Grant Playbook, based on its pilot to provide small grants with a total value of $3.6 million to help nearly 5,000 students complete their degree or remain enrolled in a university.