Clark State expands tuition discount for military families


Clark State Community College will extend its 50 percent military tuition discount next year to members of the National Guard and U.S. Reserves, along with a smaller discount for military spouses.

Clark State already offers a similar discount to active duty members, said John Devillier, vice president of business affairs at Clark State. In the past two years, the program has provided a savings of about $19,000 for the 89 students currently using the discount.

READ MORE: Unemployment rates up slightly in Clark, Champaign Counties

The expansion would provide opportunities for discounted tuition for more than 3,000 reserve personnel stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and 1,500 members of the Ohio National Guard in Springfield, along with their spouses. Members of the Guard and National Reserves outside the region would also qualify. Spouses would receive a 20 percent tuition discount.

The discount is a tool to encourage military members to continue their education and provide them with skills employers need both during and after their military service, said state Rep. Rick Perales, a former Greene County commissioner and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

DETAILS: Springfield center gets national recognition for patient care

“We’re never going to get to the next level as a state unless we can train and educate the right people here,” Perales said. “This is the kind of program that does it.”

About 6,500 students attend Clark State overall, so the 89 students enrolled now make up just a fraction of Clark State’s student population, Devillier said.

Tuition at Clark State currently is $139 per credit hour, or roughly $4,200 annually for 30 credit hours. The decision to extend the tuition discount comes at a time when Clark State is also expanding its online education programs, Devillier said.

MORE: Popular Springfield restaurant to close for extensive makeover

“It’s a way for us to say thank you for the men and women who serve our country,” said Devillier, a retired Air Force colonel who previously served as commander of the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Timothy Knight, an adjunct professor at Clark State, also serves in the Air Force Reserves with the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson. He’s served in the military since 1992, first as a member of the Ohio Army National Guard.

Military families face many challenges including being asked to move frequently and can be called up at any time. Any support to earn additional job training is appreciated, Knight said.

More Business News: Navistar to lay off more than 80 workers

“That can be a terrible disruption of everyday life, but that’s what we signed up for,” Knight said.

While Clark State will provide discounted tuition to members of the military, the college also announced earlier this month it will raise tuition $10 per credit hour beginning in the fall, pending approval of lawmakers and the governor.

The increase was approved by the college’s board of trustees Tuesday night and will be the first since a statewide three-year freeze on tuition. The additional revenue will be used to improve security and technology on the campus, as well as hiring additional faculty and staff, Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin said.

The two moves are unrelated, she said, and discussions to provide a discount for military families were in the works long before the board of trustees approved the tuition increase.

The community college has taken several steps to provide more support to military families in recent years. It became become one of the first Ohio schools to receive the Purple Heart Campus designation, denoting it actively supports and welcomes veterans and military members. It also installed an outdoor memorial on the campus to honor the memory of the nation’s fallen soldiers.

“Clark State is known for its military friendliness, but Clark State needs to put its money where its mouth is,” Blondin said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Ohio investigators test evidence from 14,000 backlogged rape kits
Ohio investigators test evidence from 14,000 backlogged rape kits

Nearly 14,000 rape kits were tested by the State Crime Lab after State investigators proposed they would seven years ago. The kits provided thousands of pieces of evidence that could lead to suspects but it was difficult to keep up with them all, state leaders said. New rules went into place in reviewing the kits for evidence to ensure a backlog like...
Could blood and urine test be used to diagnose autism?
Could blood and urine test be used to diagnose autism?

A newly developed blood and urine test could potentially detect autism in young children. That’s according to new research from scientists in the United Kingdom and Italy who conducted tests searching for damage to proteins previously known to be higher in children with autism spectrum disorders. The study, published this week in the academic...
Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death
Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death

An Indiana woman is angry after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite, WISH reported. Mary Helen Samson Bovenschen died Feb. 18 at the age of 88. She was to buried next to her husband, Charles Bovenschen, who died Nov. 4, 2006 at age 80. But the couple’s daughter, Sandi Vasel, was stunned when speaking...
Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos
Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos

Have you ever met anyone who liked their driver’s license photo?  Of course not.  Photos on driver’s licenses always seem to show a person at his or her worst, but a bill proposed in the California state legislature would give drivers a choice, KABC reported. The bill would allow drivers to have multiple photos taken...
Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire
Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire

A Tennessee man was arrested in connection with the deaths of a Memphis couple who was found dead in an apartment that caught fire Thursday afternoon. Aareon Berryman, 18, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell, and possession...
More Stories