Eye on Education

John Kasich’s New Higher Education Funding Formula: Results Equal Funding

Screenshot via The Ohio Channel

Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee and Gov. John Kasich at an announcement of a proposed new funding formula for Ohio colleges and universities.

Ohio public colleges and universities can expect less state money in the coming years and a different way of distributing it.

Gov. John Kasich says the budget he will introduce in February will tie half of Ohio’s four-year universities’ state funding to their graduation rates. Kasich eventually wants to tie all of community-college funding to student performance.

Kasich’s move to expand performance funding puts him on the same page as other Republican governors and part of what Inside Higher Ed calls “an emerging Republican approach to higher education policy, built largely around cost-cutting:”

“Up until now, the argument over college affordability has been dominated by calls to action on two fronts: lower interest rates on student loans and asking taxpayers to pay more so state legislatures can increase funding to higher education a greater amount,” said Thomas K. Lindsay, director of the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation… “What this does, this changes the debate to reducing the cost to students and parents, raising expectations about what the public expects from higher education.”

But while some other Republican governors have seen significant pushback from higher education leaders, the Ohio funding changes have the support of Ohio’s public college and university presidents and of community college presidents.

Kasich sat next to Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee in announcing his proposed funding today and gave shout-outs to individual public college and university presidents throughout the state during his announcement. The proposed changes are the result of Kasich’s invitation to college and university presidents to “help” him rewrite Ohio’s higher education funding formula.

“I want you to know that I am your friend,” Kasich told school leaders.

“I want you to know that I am your friend.”
–Gov. John Kasich to Ohio college and university presidents

Ohio universities have had some form of performance funding  since at least 1995. Performance funding basically ties funding to student performance rather than to how many enrollment. But Kasich’s proposal would move further.

Currently, 20 percent of four-year schools’ state funding is tied to graduation. Kasich’s plan would move that figure to 50 percent.

For community colleges, 10 percent of state funding is tied to student performance. Kasich’s plan would eventually tie all state funding for community colleges to student performance, though not necessarily graduation.

Beyond tying more school funding to graduation rates, Kasich’s plan would also bring a host of changes to both four-year schools and community colleges. It would eliminate historical set asides and earmarks for particular schools.

For universities, the new funding formula would also:

  • Reward schools whose out-of-state graduates stay in Ohio after graduation; and
  • Give schools credit for graduates who study at their schools, even if the students later transfered to and graduated from a different school.

For community colleges, the new funding formula would also:

  • Reward schools for students who graduate with an associate degree or certificate or transfer to a university; and
  • Give schools that educate larger numbers of more challenging students more money.

The Unveiling of New Ohio Higher Education Funding Recommendations


  • Magna Cum Laude KSU Grad

    The business of education! As if state universities aren’t already curving grades enough to utterly destroy the worth of a degree as it is. Meanwhile costs of tuition (and state university president salaries) increase and loan availability decreases. Most college graduates are severely in debt with a devalued degree working food service jobs. Good job, Kasich.

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