Philanthropy Ohio Releases Education Recommendations

Summit Education Initiative distributed the following press release on Feb. 9, 2017.

Summit Education Initiative and Philanthropy Ohio urge Governor, State Legislators and Education Policy Leaders to Make College More Affordable

Ohio ranks 45th out of 50 states in affordability

College students listening to a university lectureCOLUMBUS – Philanthropy Ohio released its latest education recommendations to Governor John Kasich, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and other education policy leaders today. Building on the recent release of Philanthropy Ohio’s K-12 education briefing papers, today’s report, Investing in Ohio’s Future. Now. A Postsecondary Education Access and Affordability Agenda for Ohio, analyzes Ohio’s progress in making college more affordable for Ohio’s students and families and offers recommendations on how to improve affordability. The report’s ultimate vision is to ensure that more Ohioans attain a post-secondary credential of value so they are prepared to participate and succeed in Ohio’s workforce.

Investing in Ohio’s Future. Now. A Postsecondary Education Access and Affordability Agenda for Ohio is anchored to Ohio’s Attainment Goal 2025: 65 percent of Ohioans, ages 25-64, will have a degree, certificate or other postsecondary workforce credential of value in the workplace by 2025. Currently, Ohio is 36th out of 50 states for overall educational attainment, with approximately 43.2 percent of working age Ohioans holding a post-secondary degree or certificate. Ohio’s investment in higher education, generally, and need-based aid specifically, is not keeping pace with our peer states.

“If Ohio wants to continue to grow its economy, we must make college more affordable for all Ohioans or we will continue to face workforce challenges that will threaten our economic future,” said Suzanne Allen, Ph.D., President & CEO, of Philanthropy Ohio. “This report and its recommendations outline the challenges and offer solutions on what we believe needs to happen so Ohio gains ground: being 45th in affordability is just not going to get it done for Ohio’s citizens.”

Joining Allen at a briefing at the Ohio Statehouse for release of the report are local, state and national experts working on these issues. Local leaders of P-20 councils included Derran Wimer, executive director of Summit Education Initiative (SEI), and leaders of four other Ohio Cradle to Career organizations.

Wimer commented that Ohio’s financial commitment to higher education, especially need-based financial aid, has never recovered from the deep cuts that occurred during the recession.

“Aid for students who aspire to achieve a college degree or high-value career credential is critical to their access and their success,” Wimer said. “Investment in a college student’s success pays significant dividends for our community. Summit County absolutely needs to increase its college attainment levels in order to have a prosperous future.”

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About Summit Education Initiative

Summit Education Initiative (SEI) is a nonprofit organization working to enhance the educational experiences of individuals and their families living in Summit County. SEI believes this helps ensure every student graduates prepared, passionate and persistent. The mission of SEI is to improve personal and regional prosperity through increased educational attainment.

The Mission of Philanthropy Ohio

An association of foundations, corporate giving programs and other individuals and organizations actively involved in philanthropy – is to provide leadership for Ohio’s philanthropic sector and to enhance the ability of its members to fulfill their charitable goals. Philanthropy Ohio is comprised of over 200 philanthropic organizations whose assets total nearly $56 billion and who contribute more than $4 billion annually, including hundreds of millions given to the education area. More information about Philanthropy Ohio and its commitment to education reform may be found at philanthropyohio.org.