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

Royal wedding: Meghan Markle wears Princess Diana's aquamarine ring to reception
Royal wedding: Meghan Markle wears Princess Diana's aquamarine ring to reception

After Saturday's royal wedding, Meghan Markle honored the late Princess Diana, Prince Harry's mother, with a little "something blue." According to "Today" and Vogue, the Duchess of Sussex wore Diana's emerald-cut aquamarine ring to the couple's evening wedding reception. >> Read more trending news  The ring wasn't...
More showers and storms likely to start the week
More showers and storms likely to start the week

The first part of your Sunday should be dry, but there is a slight chance for an isolated shower, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. The better chances for more showers and storms returns for the second half of the day. Some of the storms towards evening could be strong to severe with the biggest concerns being strong winds...
T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper
T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper

Days after T.I. was arrested outside his gated community in Henry County, Georgia, an online petition has surfaced urging police to drop the charges against the Atlanta rapper.  On Wednesday, the artist, whose legal name is Clifford Harris Jr., was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, but the Care2...
'Royal wedding guest name' quiz could help scammers get your personal data
'Royal wedding guest name' quiz could help scammers get your personal data

A seemingly innocent quiz that has been sweeping social media could help scammers get their hands on your personal data, experts say. "What's your royal wedding guest name?" the meme, which began circulating ahead of Saturday's royal wedding, asks. One version reads as follows: "In honor of the royal wedding, use your 'royal wedding...
Student of the Week Greenon High School
Student of the Week Greenon High School

Name: Kaitlyn/Kat Gibson School: Greenon High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Extra-curricular: Swimming, Drama Club, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society Claim to fame/honors: Captain of the swim team, President of Spanish Honor Society, Valedictorian Words you live by: “Be kind whenever possible.” Toughest challenge: Balancing my social...
More Stories