LIMA — Ohio State University President Michael Drake spoke about the new financial aid program being implemented at the OSU-Lima campus next spring during the Lima stop of his Buckeye State Bus Tour at Kewpee Hamburgers on Bellefontaine Avenue.
“We’re really excited about the plan [for] our regional campus, including Lima, starting in January, putting about $3 million more into need-based state aid,” Drake said. “It’s actually a tuition bridge, so it means if you’re hardworking with good grades in this community and if you’re Pell [Grant] eligible, we and Pell and others together will meet the full cost of your tuition.”
The goal is to make college more affordable for low to middle-income students. It will also make it possible for them to graduate from Ohio State with less debt so they can join the workforce and perhaps afford a home earlier than they would with student debt looming, he said.
“I’m looking forward to my Kewpee burger,” Drake said before entering the restaurant to meet and greet Ohio State students, alumni and residents attending the event at Kewpee organized by OSU Student Life.
Drake takes the state tour twice a year, usually in June and August, visiting different cities, said Allison Boman, event manager at Ohio State’s main campus. When planning the tour, the first step is looking at places in the state the Ohio State president hasn’t visited in awhile, said Leia Gertz, who is both an intern for the Office of Student Life and a student on the Buckeye Bus.
“We look at the different counties and see really popular areas, some classic hometown treats, like Kewpee here,” she said. “And we see different areas where can go help out.”
Gertz said Kewpee was chosen as the site for Drake’s visit because it holds the amount of people organizers were hoping would attend the alumni lunch, and also because it is a hometown favorite.
Students who ride the Buckeye Bus are nominated by different student organizations. Spirit squad members, including Brutus, ride the Buckeye Bus as well.
“Buckeye Bus in general is really making sure that we not only bring Dr. Drake to so many parts of Ohio [but also] to bring Ohio State back to being a land grant institution and being an institution for the state of Ohio,” Gertz said. “We also want to make sure everyone can see how much the state of Ohio means to Ohio State.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.