Business Model

When we talk about Ohio State’s business model for distance education, we’re really referring to two separate financial models: the tuition model – what students pay for distance education – and the budget model – how that revenue is distributed across the university.

These financial models were approved by the Office of Academic Affairs and the University Senate Fiscal Committee in 2013 and are re-evaluated on a yearly basis. These models only apply to students labeled/identified with the ONL (online) sub-plan in the student information system and to Distance Learning (DL) and Distance Enhanced (DH) courses. Learn more about distance education definitions.


How the Tuition Model Works

In addition to instructional and general fees, Ohio State Online students pay a $100 distance fee each term, which pays for a variety of online education resources, such as the remote proctoring tool Proctorio that is fully integrated into CarmenCanvas. Out-of-state students are also assessed a non-resident surcharge of $200 per term. Learn more about tuition and fees.


How the Budget Model Works

Just like traditional face-to-face programs at Ohio State, revenue calculation for distance education programs is based on a two-year average. Regardless of delivery mode, the distribution of revenue for new programs begins the year after the program is launched. In addition, marginal revenues for both types of programs, face-to-face and online, are subject to a 24% Support Unit Tax. 

However, unlike face-to-face programs, online programs are not charged Student Service Assessments (SSAs) 1, 2 or 3.

Instead, online programs are charged SSA 4, which funds OTDI’s instructional design and marketing services as well as ongoing program support.

This difference means distance education programs bring in more revenue to your unit per tuition dollar than face-to-face programs do.

24¢ financial planning; Online: 53.2¢ to unit, 22.8¢ SSA 4 - Distance Learning; Graduate:         35¢ to unit, 41¢ SSA 2, SSA 3; Undergrad: 51.7¢ to unit, 24.3¢ SSA 1, SSA 3