State offers higher education hotline

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Help for prospective college students will now be just a phone call away.

The Ohio Board of Regents has devised a way to make college more accessible to Ohioans.

The College Access Information Hotline, 1-877-426-8246, is a means for those interested in college to get general information about getting started.

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Joann Massie of Franklin Furnace had already received a degree but decided to go to OUS for early education after her child care license expired. Massie said she did not know then what she knows now.

"I feel there wasn't as much information when I went to school (the first time)," Massie said. "I think hotlines would be real beneficial."

The line gives information concerning preparation for college, admission, transferring and other general facts about Ohio colleges and universities. The service will be connected to the already existing State Grants and Scholarship Hotline, which provides information about financial aid.

Aaron Cornwell, a 2005 graduate of Rock Hill High School, said he is having trouble getting into college and attributes it to a lack of real information about financial aid and other programs.

"They didn't explain everything to the full extent," said Cornwell, who is currently trying to enroll at OUS. "They say it is all going to be paid for but they're telling you what you want to hear."

Cornwell said he got most of his information from guidance counselors and the Internet but thinks the hotline would have been beneficial.

The hotline does not give institution specific information.

"This is one of these things designed to give general information," Kim Keffer, director of admissions at Ohio University Southern, said. "I definitely don't think it replaces the details students can get by contacting individual institutions, but it's a one-phone call way to get quick information about making a decision about college."

The hotline is part of an effort to increase college participation and completion in Ohio.

"We don't have the college rate in Ohio we should," Keffer said.

According to information provided by the Ohio Board of Regents, 21 percent of the population over age 25 has a baccalaureate degree ranking Ohio 39th of the 50 states.

Keffer said she encourages everyone, not only people immediately interested in college, but also for parents of freshmen and sophomores in high school, to give the number a call.