Kent State floats associate degrees as way to increase state funding

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Leaders at Kent State University say they have found a way to grant more degrees and earn more money from the state. But officials at some other schools say the idea exploits a loophole in state rules and could hurt other colleges.

Kent State wants to start awarding two-year associate degrees to students on their way to four-year degrees, officials announced last week. Students who earn 60 credit hours could qualify for the associate degree, which school leaders have said could provide a fallback for students who drop out after two years.

But the plan also aims to draw more money from the state.

Of the money that Ohio sets aside for four-year public schools, a greater share this year is tied to the number of degrees that schools grant. That includes associate degrees, even though they traditionally have been a specialty of community colleges and the regional campuses of four-year universities.

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