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Audit: college credits earned by high school students saved Ohio families $163M last year

Ohio University students walk on campus
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Students walk across campus at Ohio University in Athens.

The program that allows students to earn college credits while they’re still in high school saved Ohio families $163 million in higher education costs last year, according to a state audit.

The audit of the seven-year-old College Credit Plus program also said it could be helping even more kids.

The report said 76,601 students took College Credit Plus courses last year. The average family saved $4,368 and the average student graduated with nearly 15 credits, which would amount to a full semester of college credits.

The office of the Ohio Auditor of State also noted 1,127 associate degrees and 385 certificates were awarded last year, bringing the total to nearly 8,000 associate degrees and certificates for students taking CCP courses.

The number of credits awarded through the CCP has tripled in the seven years it's been in operation. The audit said in the 2014-2015 year, students enrolled in about 190,000 college credit hours through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option Program. That was replaced by College Credit Plus in 2015. In the most recent school year, more than 650,000 credit hours were earned through CCP courses.

Five districts were singled out for students who earned more than five college credits through the program: Russia Local School District in Shelby County, the Miller City-New Cleveland Local School District in Putnam County, the Franklin-Monroe Local School District in Darke County, the Fort Loramie Local School District in Shelby County and the Steubenville City School District in Jefferson County.

But the audit says several districts didn’t comply with the requirement to provide information about the CCP program to families, and that there was wide variation in the information presented.

The auditor’s performance team recommends the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Department of Education come up with standard forms and marketing for the program, and that districts increase the number of college classes offered on high school campuses to make it easier for students to take the courses.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.
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