Listed here are helpful answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Free College benefit and our current online program offerings. For more information or additional support, call us at 888-590-9009.
What is the Free College Benefit?
The Free College Benefit is an investment in you and your future. With the Free College Benefit union members and their families do not have to pay out of pocket for any tuition, fees or e-books at Eastern Gateway Community College—resulting in cost savings of thousands of dollars!
The benefit works as a “last-dollar scholarship”, or grant, through Eastern Gateway Community College, that is intended to fill the gap between any federal, state or employer education grants you receive and the cost of tuition, fees and e-books for certain online degree programs at Eastern Gateway Community College. It does require an investment of your time and attention!
Who can receive the Free College Benefit?
The Free College Benefit is open to members in good standing, who are full dues-paying members, retired members and their families. Family is defined as spouses, children, stepchildren, children-in-law, dependents and grandchildren. Potential students’ membership will be verified by union.
Which programs are offered through the scholarship program?
For detailed program information, please visit our website at: https://ohiostatebtc.org/
Programs offered through Free College
- Business Management Degree
- Focus options include:
- Cyber Security
- Data Science
- Digital and Social Media
- Healthcare Management
- Hospitality: Food and Beverage Management
- Hospitality: Hotel and Event Management
- Human Resources Management
- Information Systems
- Labor Studies
- Programming & Development
- Associate of Arts
- Criminal Justice
- Teacher Education Degree
- Patient Home Navigator
Business Management Degree
Eastern Gateway Community College’s Business Management degree offers a well-rounded program to graduates looking to begin a career in business or for promotion opportunities that can advance their careers. As associate degree can also be a major step towards completing a bachelor’s degree. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of management principles, business-oriented technology and interpersonal skills, with course work that covers the fundamentals of business, management, critical thinking, project planning and implementation, business software, and communication.
With an associate degree in business management, graduates qualify for entry-level and administrative roles in private, public and nonprofit organizations. Many find employment as management trainees or managers in the sales or retail industry. Others work as project assistants, office managers and technology-oriented support specialists.
And to help students go deeper in a particular area of interest, we’ve developed various focus areas that are part of the Business Management degree. These focus areas offer career-oriented courses that will help you build the skills and industry background information that will be useful in specialty fields.
Like any educational pursuit, the students experience will be dependent on your individual goals. OSBCTC’s focus areas will help broaden and define the students’ skill base so they are more successful in career pursuits.
OSBCTC’s Business Management focus areas include:
The advertising industry is a global, multi billion-dollar business that, at its most basic level, serves as a conduit between makers and consumers. It’s a dynamic, fast-changing business with many, many different ways to try to reach a consumer. There is both a creative side to the business and a financial and sales side and this focus area introduce you to both.
The courses for this focus are Advertising and Promotion; Salesmanship; Interactive Advertisement; and Digital Photography.
Cyber Security (focus)
Expertise in computer security is in high demand. This focus area prepares students to defend and protect information, technology and computer systems. Students will prepare for careers dealing with networking and system administration fundamentals, with the primary focus being defensive strategies to securing networks and systems.
The courses for this focus area are Security Foundations; Networking Foundations; System Administration; and Network Defense.
Data Science (focus)
Data scientists are vital to a variety of organizations as they are part computer scientist, mathematician, and trend spotter. The increasing popularity of this profession is a reflection of how entities think about big data. These professionals help increase revenue and discover business insights to boost production.
Data scientists conduct independent research and analyze information from various internal and external sources. Data is the foundation from which business and organizations can tell a compelling story to drive action. Practical foundation level training enables immediate and effective participation in big data and other analytics projects.
The courses for this focus area are Basic Statistics; Programming Foundations; Statistical Programming; and Data Wrangling and Visualization.
Digital and Social Media (focus)
Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing careers and is quickly becoming an essential part of marketing in virtually every business. Today, billions of people all over the world are getting their information via social media platforms. Marketing professionals, small business owners, and corporate leaders all need the digital tools and skills to be successful in today’s economy.
The courses for this focus are Electronic Commerce: The Strategic Perspective;
Social Media Marketing; Consumer Behavior; and Writing for Interactive Media.
Many people dream of owning their own business, which is why over 10% of people in this country are self-employed– and that number is expected to grow. More and more workers are looking for the flexibility and freedom that being their own boss can provide. This focus area will help students hone the necessary fundamental skills and tactics needed to be successful in getting a business started and real-world entrepreneurial pursuits.
The courses for this focus are Entrepreneurship; Quantitative Reasoning; Customer Service; and Business Ethics.
The fast-paced global economy has changed the way finance works on a fundamental level. As day-to-day financial tasks become more complex and interconnected—from transactions to investing—it pays to have a comprehensive finance skill set. In fact, it has become a requirement for success in just about any organization and even day-to-day life!
The courses for this focus are Financial Management; Managerial Accounting; Securities and Investment; and Financial Accounting 2.
Healthcare Management (focus)
The healthcare industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing parts our economy. Almost everyone needs care at some point in their life. Our Healthcare Management focus can begin to prepare you to play an important role in areas such as healthcare policy, managed care, insurance, information systems or finance in settings such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, and more. This focus will help you advance your commitment to serving others with the knowledge and ability to be effective in a variety of positions.
The courses for this focus are Introduction to Health Care Systems; Law and Ethics; Healthcare Management; and Healthcare Finance.
Hospitality: Food and Beverage Management (focus)
Be prepared for the many possibilities beyond the kitchen with this focus, which will give you an understanding of the operation of both the front and the back of the house. You’ll be prepared for positions including management trainee, kitchen manager, catering manager, or assistant pastry, banquet, or sous-chef with restaurants, hotels, resorts, and caterers.
The courses for this focus are Fundamentals of Food Service Industry; Fundamentals of Food Safety; Food Service Management; and Food and Beverage Operations.
Hospitality: Hotel and Event Management (focus)
The hospitality is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the US and refers to a wide array of businesses, including hotels and event planning, cruises and even some professional athletics. Some sports teams, for instance, look for individuals with a hospitality management degree to make travel and living arrangements for their athletes.
Planning events requires many different skills from managing the catering staff to the marketing and sales of your space. This focus area will give a broad introduction to the various roles involved in hotel and event management.
The courses for this focus area are Introduction to Quality Improvement; Food and Beverage Operations; Hotel and Convention Management; and Event Management.
Human Resources (focus)
The success of any business or organization is dependent on the employees who work there. Therefore, the human resources department plays an essential role in developing organizational strategy as well as handling the employee-centered activities – including the role of unions in the workplace! This focus can help strengthen your skills in HR or prepare you to interact with employees directly to help them resolve problems, understand their benefits, or adjudicate disputes between employees.
The courses for this focus are Business Law; Training Concepts; Compensation Management; and Employee Benefits.
Information Systems (focus)
The Information Systems focus of OSBCTC ‘s Business Management degree was developed with the support of Google. This focus will prepare students for high-demand, entry-level jobs in Information Technology and Systems.
Nearly every employer that uses computers has a need for IT Support professionals. The demand for the jobs exceeds the number of qualified candidates who can fill them. The growth in the area is faster than the average of all other occupations.
Those who successfully complete this focus will earn the Google IT Support Certificate, which prepares students for entry-level IT jobs and is recognized by employers such as GE, UPMC, PNC, Bank of America and more.
Labor Studies (focus)
Designed in collaboration with highly respected and seasoned leaders from the labor movement, OSBCTC’s Labor Studies focus prepares students to assume leadership roles in the workplace and in their communities. Whether you are already working as a union organizer or professional, a dedicated advocate or an interested observer, this focus will help you gain the necessary skills and understanding of the workplace to meet the challenges of the new millennium.
The courses for this focus are Introduction to Labor / the American Labor Movement; Collective Bargaining; Law of Labor / Industrial Relations; and Labor and Management Relationship.
Looking ways to persuade and influence people? Pursue our Marketing focus and you can learn all the ways to promote brands—from writing and creating content and ads to planning and managing large-scale events. Students will learn about the many media in which to promote products and services, as well as the way advertising interrelates to marketing.
Courses for this focus are Salesmanship; Advertising; Social Media Marketing; and Customer Service.
Programming and Development (focus)
Programmers, developers, and software engineers design and develop many types of software, including computer games and entertainment applications, mobile applications, business applications, database systems, computer systems, and interactive web sites. Students will get an introduction to these important areas and begin to develop competencies in designing, implementing, integrating, testing and maintaining software systems.
The courses for this focus area are Coding from Scratch; Front End Foundations; Front End Frameworks, and Programming Foundations.
The courses for this focus are Introduction to Information Technology; Introduction to System Administration; Introduction to IT Security; and Leadership and Development Team Building.
Associate of Arts Degree
The Associate of Arts (AA) degree parallels the first two years of a Bachelor of Arts degree at most four-year institutions. As a student in the program, you may progress into baccalaureate programs such as psychology, sociology, English, history, fine arts, communications, or other fields in the arts disciplines.
Criminal Justice Degree
The Associate of Criminal Justice program is your launch pad into the ever-changing and growing field. Designed to arm you with the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in local, state, and federal agencies. It’s also structured to support your transfer to a four-year, degree-granting institution. Course topics include Criminal Investigation, Crisis Intervention, and Homeland Security. Peace Office Training or Corrections certification holders are eligible to receive college credit toward this degree- so you’re already finished with many of the requirements of this degree!
Teacher Education Degree
The Associate of Arts in Teacher Education degree is your first step in building a foundation for success as a teacher. In this program, you will focus on important topics such as development, learning assessment, special learners, and instructional strategy. It’s designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community. It can be a credential on its own or serve as the basis for a 4-year teaching degree where students can focus more on specific teaching areas such as early childhood education.
OSBCTC also offers the AAS Pre-Kindergarten Care for students who are specifically interested in Early Childhood Education. Students needing a credential for licensing should talk to an OSBCTC advisor to understand the options and requirements.
The Paralegal Program is designed to prepare students for employment in a law environment in both public and private sectors. The paralegal graduate will be performing legal preparations, such as closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Other duties include the gathering of relevant facts of cases, identifying appropriate laws and decisions, organizing information, and preparing legal arguments.
Paralegals work in government agencies, law firms, corporations, real estate firms, as well as non-profit organizations. The demand for paralegal professionals is expected to increase by more than 50% over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in any area may enroll in the Paralegal Certificate program.
Patient Home Navigator Certificate
Healthcare advocacy is an emerging and exciting career– a sizable portion of the over 500,000 healthcare jobs in the last 5 years were in this area. OSBCTC’s Patient Home Navigator certificate was created in partnership with the Medicare Rights Center and graduates will earn a Medicare Information Certified Specialist (MICS) certificate.
The range of Patient Navigator duties varies and OSBCTC students will be prepared to work in community or healthcare settings. Upon successful completion, students will understand medical terminology; ICD-9 & 10, CPT codes, and the equivalent; Medicaid claims; UB04’s; 1500’s; Medicare; Medicaid; and Commercial RA’s as well as Microsoft word/excel/office.
Note that depending on the number of credits taken per semester, and the number of any previous credits earned and transferred, 60 credits usually takes a full time student 2 years to complete. Students utilizing the Free College Benefit are not required to attend full time and can take 1 class per term.
Is this for real?
It is for real and students have been taking advantage of this great opportunity since Fall 2015. Over 6,000 students have enrolled at OSBCTC through this program.
Eligibility requires that potential students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as well as apply for and use any employer or military tuition reimbursement or assistance for which they have eligibility. Once the FAFSA is completed, the college may require that additional documentation be submitted, for a process called verification that is required by the US Department of Education. All members must comply with the document requests by OSBCTC in order to complete the financial aid process to determine eligibility for federal aid.
The Free College benefit will cover the rest of the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for OSBCTC’s online programs.
Is OSBCTC Accredited?
Yes. OSBCTC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. The Higher Learning Commission is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This federally-recognized body provides assurance to students, parents and all stakeholders that OSBCTC meets clear quality standards for educational and financial performance, http://www.ncahlc.org/
Can out of state students take OSBCTC classes?
Yes. OSBCTC seeks to deliver all of our online programs in every state. We work through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) process and with states directly to ensure that when authorization or licensure is necessary, required approvals are secured. Ohio is a member of SARA and OSBCTC is an approved SARA institution. As such, we adhere to an established common set of standards for offering post-secondary distance education among member states, districts and territories. Participation in SARA is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. While we do monitor the laws in each state, authorization of distance education is a dynamic environment and prospective students should check this site often for updates. OSBCTC is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval in all states. It is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements in their state of residence. For more information about SARA, please visit http://www.nc-sara.org/
How do I qualify for the Free College Benefit?
OSBCTC is an open-access college, which means you only need to have a high school degree or GED equivalent to be accepted to the OSBCTC degree programs.
To receive the Free College Benefit, participating unions’ members (or their family members) who want to enroll in OSBCTC’s online programs will need to complete the following steps. Members can also call 888-590-9009.
- Apply to OSBCTC.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit any required verification. Any grant award must be applied to the tuition, fees and e-book charges at OSBCTC
- Agree to use any employer tuition assistance.
- Verify High School or GED completion by submitting proof of High School graduation or GED completion to OSBCTC.
Students who do not complete the FAFSA and any required verification will need to make payment arrangements with OSBCTC.
Students who are currently in default on their Federal student loans must first ensure their loans are in rehabilitation in order to receive the scholarship. If a student falls into default during a term in which they are enrolled in OSBCTC, the student must take steps to rehabilitate their loans before continuing to receive the Free College Benefit. Students are invited to call the OSBCTC Financial Aid office for help on this subject at 740-266-9619. They can also call directly to the U.S. Department of Education 800-621-3115.
What do I do next?
Submit an inquiry form to the college and begin the application process. You may also call 888-590-9009 to talk to an enrollment advisor.
You first need to apply to OSBCTC at www.OSBCTC.edu. click on Apply Now on the top right of the page. When applying please only check the box for your union.
You then need to complete the FAFSA at www.FAFSA.gov. This will take 30 minutes to an hour. Please plan to have your tax and employment history handy, and be sure to enter OSBCTC’s school code to have the information sent to OSBCTC. The school code is 007275.
Students must submit proof of High School graduation or GED completion. If you would to have previous college credits reviewed for transfer to OSBCTC, you will need to send us official copies of those transcripts as well.
Once we have all of those items, we will ask you to set up short phone appointment with an advisor to register for your classes. This takes about 15 minutes.
Why do I have to complete the FAFSA if it’s free?
While the Free College benefit means you can attend OSBCTC with no out-of-pocket cost, it does require an investment of your time and help.
The Free College benefit is a last-dollar scholarship; therefore, you are required to first use any federal or state aid you may receive toward your tuition, fees and e-books.
This means it is free to you and there is no out of pocket cost for tuition, fees, or e-books. The “last dollar” scholarship means it covers the difference in what you have available for grants in state or federal aid, and the tuition, fees and e-books at OSBCTC. It does not cover pencils, computers, computer access, internet, etc. It also does not cover parking or professional fees, etc.
What is FAFSA Verification and do I need to complete verification?
The U.S. Department of Education selects approximately 30% of all FAFSA applicants for a process called verification. Verification is how the Department of Education requires OSBCTC to confirm the accuracy of the data reported (or not reported) on an individual student’s FAFSA. During the verification process, information reported on the FAFSA is checked for accuracy against documentation submitted by the student and/or their parents. An application may be selected for verification at any time throughout the award year. Compliance with this verification procedure is required to remain eligible for the scholarship.
What do you mean by domestic partner and financial dependents?
Your union defines who can take advantage of the scholarship and your union verifies membership and eligibility.
Spouses or domestic partners (someone living with you in a committed relationship), your children, children in law, grandchildren and financial dependents all can take advantage of the benefit. A financial dependent is someone for whom you have financial responsibility. OSBCTC does not assess the level of financial dependence or the definition of domestic partner.
How do I maintain my Free College benefit?
Once you receive the Free College benefit to cover the cost of tuition, fees and e-books at Eastern Gateway Community College, you must comply with all academic, conduct, attendance and financial aid policies as required by the college, the state of Ohio and the U.S. Department of Education in order to continue to receive the benefit for each semester in which you enroll in classes toward your degree. You must also continue to be a full dues paying member of your union (or an eligible family member). You are also required to complete the FAFSA, including any required verification, for every new academic year.
Are there any academic requirements to receive the benefit?
Your previous academic record does not affect whether you initially can receive the Free College benefit. OSBCTC is an open-access college, which means you only need to have a high school degree or GED equivalent to be accepted to the OSBCTC degree programs. There is not placement exam or entrance exam required.
However, once you are enrolled as student at OSBCTC, the college requires that students meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The definition of this can be found on OSBCTC’s website, from your advisor, or your instructor.
Satisfactory Academic Progress: (SAP)
A student must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and successfully complete 67% of courses attempted in every semester.
Is there a placement test?
The Free College Benefit at OSBCTC does not require a placement test. However, if you are worried about how you will handle college level courses, your advisor can work with you on which classes to choose, as well as some resources to help you get ready for courses.
Tell me about OSBCTC.
OSBCTC is a public, open-access college located in Steubenville and Youngstown, OH. The college is part of the University System of Ohio, governed by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accreditor of most public and private institutions in the Midwest. OSBCTC is committed to innovation and increasing quality educational opportunities for students in all across the country. The staff of OSBCTC is union represented by the Ohio Education Association.
OSBCTC is one the fastest growing colleges in Ohio. The school is a national Achieving the Dream Leader College, an American Association of Community Colleges School of Excellence, and recognized nationally for its efforts to prepare a diverse student population for career success. They are also transfer-friendly, which means they strive to accept previous college credits students may have earned elsewhere.
I am confused by the FAFSA. Can you help?
OSBCTC is happy to advise you on how to fill it out. Students are invited to call 888-590-9009, or review the information on the US Department of Education FAFSA website. There are many other resources on the U.S. Department of Education website. There is NO CHARGE for the FAFSA (if you encounter a charge, please call us so that we may re-direct you to the correct site). Please plan to allow an average of 30 minutes for completion.
Is there a time limit on the Free College Benefit?
The Free College benefit is an individual scholarship and amounts vary based on the student’s cost of tuition, fees and e-books at OSBCTC. The scholarship will be renewed each term as long as the student (or the family member) is a full, dues paying union member, and the student maintains satisfactory academic progress as defined by OSBCTC and the U.S. Department of Education for federal financial aid. As long as the student is actively participating and working toward their degree, there is no time limit for degree completion. Students must, however, complete the FAFSA and any required verification, for each new academic year.
What if I am not successful in my course?
As long as you complete all required verification for FAFSA and you attend and participate in your classes as required by the instructor and the college, the Free College Benefit will cover the cost of your tuition, fees and e-books at OSBCTC.
All accredited colleges, including OSBCTC, have attendance and academic policies students must follow. Attendance for online classes is different than in face-to-face classes. You attend by logging in to your class and completing assignments and quizzes. You must complete at least one quiz or one assignment within the first week of class so that OSBCTC knows that you intend to be in the class. If you aren’t able to do so, you will be dropped from the class for non-attendance. If you believe you are dropped in error, you will need to contact an advisor who will determine whether you can be added back in. If you have any difficulties logging in, please send an email to tshelp@EGCC.edu and someone will follow up with you. You may also call us at 888-590-9009.
Do I have to pay any money back if I don’t complete my class or program?
As long as OSBCTC has your current year FAFSA and any and all required verification forms, and you follow the rules of the college, you won’t incur a bill for your tuition, fees or books. You don’t have to stay with the union or your job for any set time period – you just need to be a member in good standing or an eligible family member at the time you start your classes. You don’t have to pay back the scholarship if you move out of the union, or your job.
If this is Free, why do I have to complete the FAFSA?
The Free College Benefit provides a grant through OSBCTC that will cover the last dollars you need to pay for tuition, fees and e-books at OSBCTC. In order to determine the amount of the scholarship, the college needs to know how much you have in grants that can be applied to the cost of your education. The grants are only awarded by the federal government based on the information you provide in your FAFSA.
Students who do not complete the FAFSA and any required verification will need to make payment arrangements with OSBCTC.
What if I don’t want to use my Pell for this?
The Free College benefit is a last-dollar scholarship; therefore, you are required to first use any federal or state aid you may receive toward your tuition, fees and e-books. If you do not want to use your federal or state aid, you can still enroll in OSBCTC, but you will not be able to receive the Free College last-dollar scholarship to cover the difference for tuition, fees or e-books.
Will my union see the information on my FAFSA?
Only the U.S. Department of Education and OSBCTC will know your grant status. Your privacy is protected.
What if I do not qualify for any federal financial aid?
Even if it is determined that due to income levels, the student is not eligible for federal or state financial aid, or not eligible for employer grants or tuition reimbursement benefits, a last dollar scholarship will be applied to any remaining balance for tuition and fees at OSBCTC.
The cost of e-books is included, so students will have no costs other than internet access and equipment (computers, software, etc.).
Students who are currently in default on their federal loans will have to wait until their loans are in rehabilitation in order for OSBCTC to be able to award the scholarship. Students are invited to call the OSBCTC Financial Aid office for help on this subject at 740-266-9619.
You can also call directly to the U.S. Department of Education toll free at 800-621-3115.
What if I don’t have tuition reimbursement through my work?
Then the last-dollar scholarship will still apply.
What if I do have tuition reimbursement?
Please check with your employer as to the details on how it works. We will work with you to ensure compliance.
Do I have to apply any other scholarships or benefits for which I am eligible to my tuition, fees or e-books at OSBCTC?
If you are eligible for Veteran’s education benefits or tuition reimbursement through your employer, we request that you apply those benefits toward your enrollment at OSBCTC.
What do I need to submit as proof of High School graduation or GED completion?
New students can begin the semester at OSBCTC by completing and signing a form that says where you have a graduated or completed. They then have until the beginning of the next semester to submit the official proof of completion, which can include official or unofficial High School/GED transcripts OR a copy of your diploma OR official college transcript showing Associate Degree or higher. OSBCTC reserves the right to independently verify graduation or completion.
What if I graduated in a foreign country?
You will need to have your transcript evaluated and translated by an official education evaluation service. Of example is the service World Education Services, www.WES.Org. Any related cost for the transcript is not covered by the scholarship.
If you have difficulties obtaining your transcript, please give us a call back to discuss your individual situation.
Do I need to send in my college transcripts?
Yes, please send in your official college transcripts in order for them to be evaluated for transfer credits to OSBCTC.
Can I take just one class?
To be eligible for the scholarship, which is a form of financial aid, you must enroll in a degree program at OSBCTC. However, the programs are flexible in that you can take one class at a time.
What if I need to discontinue my studies?
A student may withdraw from a class prior to the withdrawal deadline each semester. Students are required to contact the financial aid office prior to withdrawal deadline in order to see what impact it might have on their financial aid and/or scholarship.
Why is my union offering this benefit?
One of union members biggest concerns is the cost of college. Today, only half of Americans who begin college will be able to finish, largely due to financial and work/life barriers. With this benefit, unions have found a way to help members and their families begin to alleviate this worry.
Why are unions partnering with Eastern Gateway Community College?
This program started successfully with labor unions in Ohio. The demand from members was so great that more unions wanted to provide the benefit to union members and their families. OSBCTC, which is organized by the Ohio Education Association, is committed to helping adult and returning students be successful in earning their degree, which can lead to increased career opportunities.
Can I use this benefit at a college other than OSBCTC?
No. The Free College benefit is supported by OSBCTC, who is investing in you and your future. It is not transferable to other colleges.
I already have an Associate Degree. Does this benefit extend to a bachelor’s degree?
We are working to extend the benefit to a bachelor degree program. Please check back for more information.
I don’t live in Ohio. Why should I earn college credit at OSBCTC?
Eastern Gateway Community College is one of the fastest growing community colleges in the country. OSBCTC is regionally accredited and regulated by the Ohio Department of Education. Credits earned at OSBCTC can be transferred to other institutions across the country. The staff at the college is committed to helping students determine the right course of study that will help them continue their work at a college closer to their home.
The state of Ohio participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by post-secondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. OSBCTC operates under this agreement, which means credits can transfer easily between states.
Will my previous college work or work experience count at OSBCTC?
OSBCTC is committed to helping you earn your degree. Their Office of Transfer Evaluations will help you determine whether your previous college work will transfer into OSBCTC, and whether you are eligible for college credit for previous work experience, such as military work or public service. We understand that you have worked hard for the college credit you have earned and expect to transfer as much as you can toward your degree completion plan. Please note that due to the large volume of student transcripts submitted, OSBCTC may not be able to evaluate your previous college transcripts prior to the start of the semester. Your enrollment advisor will work with you to determine the right coursework with which to begin to ensure you don’t lose any time in getting started.
Certain certifications, such as Police Academy and Corrections Academy work may count for a significant number of credits toward OSBCTC’s criminal justice degree. Be sure to ask your enrollment advisor for more information.
I’m worried I won’t have time for college work.
The Free College Benefit allows you to take as little as one class, or to attend full time. There is not a minimum credit requirement
OSBCTC’s coursework is rigorous and meets the high standards of the state of Ohio and of its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission. We understand that not everyone can meet the same schedule. Therefore, OSBCTC’s highly qualified instructors provide a flexible, online learning format that gives students the opportunity to further their education while fulfilling responsibilities to both family and your career.
Classes are offered every 8 weeks during the semester.
Is online learning for me?
Online learning has helped many students overcome the scheduling challenges of completing their degree. However, the format is not for everyone. The following self-assessment, developed by Miami of Ohio University, may help you understand if this will work for you.
Even as an online student at OSBCTC, you will have a support system available to aid in your success, including access to your instructor through office hours and direct communication, academic advisors, an online writing center, and free access to online tutors.
I know my union is a great advocate for me and I want to officially join the union. How do I do that?
Please call your union.
What if I leave my union?
You shouldn’t leave your union—they are providing you Free College! That said, if the circumstances are out of your control, OSBCTC won’t drop you from your current classes. You may not be able to continue to the next term with the scholarship, depending on your situation. If you are laid off, your union wants to ensure you continue to have the opportunity to complete your education. Eligibility verification happens with your union, not with OSBCTC.
What are some of the grounds for termination of the Free College Benefit?
OSBCTC may terminate your scholarship if you have:
- refused to complete FAFSA or first use your available grant money.
- failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress
- failed to meet OSBCTC’s code of conduct
The Free College Benefit represents an investment from OSBCTC in you and your academic future.
Your union may also determine that you are ineligible to receive the scholarship based on your membership status.
I want to find out more. What do I do next?
Submit an inquiry form to the college and begin the application process. You may also call 888-590-9009 to talk to an enrollment advisor.
You must complete the OSBCTC application, the FAFSA and supply needed documentation such as a high school transcript and any verification documents required to determine federal or state grant eligibility. Your enrollment advisor can walk you through each step along the way.