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Group gives Ohio an "F" in higher education affordability

A national report card on higher education gives Ohio mediocre grades. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education says the state is improving in some areas, but failing in one important area - affordability.

The national report card on higher education gives Ohio an "F" for college affordability.

It says for low and middle income college students, college tuition and other costs represent about half of their families' annual income.

The study warns the tuition costs may undercut state efforts to send clear messages to students about the importance of being prepared academically for college.

The report says Ohio is by no means the only state sitting in the dunce's chair when it comes to affordability. 35 Other States Also flunked.

Ohio Board Of Regents Spokesman Bret Crow Says The Board Is Not Surprised. He Puts The Blame On State Lawmakers for not funding higher education. Crow says colleges and universities have done all they can to control costs. In other areas, Ohio fared better. The report card gives the state a "B" in completion, saying a large percentage of students complete their college and university course work within 6 years.

The report also looked preparation which focuses on k-12 education. There Ohio received "C-pluses"

First the good news; the report states Ohio 8th graders perform well on national math, science, and writing assessments and math scores have improved substantially.

On the down side, the report said a small percentange of Ohio high school students take higher level science classes; most high school juniors and seniors do not do well on Advanced Placement exams. And the likelihood of 9th graders enrolling in college within 4 years in mediocre compared with other states.

Ohio Education Department spokesman J.C. Benton says the report card shows Ohio is making progress but has a ways to go.

The author of the report card, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education is a non-profit non-partisan group based on San Jose California.