OCSEA’s Low-Cost Bachelor’s Degree FAQ

Below is a compiled list of our most asked questions from members and relatives. If you need help or have additional questions, please call OCSEA toll-free at 1-800-969-4702 or email college@ocsea.org

What is the OCSEA bachelor's degree benefit?

OCSEA is partnering with Central State University, near Dayton, to bring members a bachelor’s degree, free for UET-eligible members and at an extremely reduced rate for family members and other OCSEA members. For members who are eligible for the union’s educational benefit—Union Education Trust (UET)—the out-of-pocket cost will be zero. For others, the annual out-of-pocket costs will be no more than $4,000, but many will pay much less, depending on the FAFSA process (see below).

Additional Information:

Who can apply?

OCSEA members in good standing (including retirees), their children, grandchildren, spouses, domestic partners, and more can apply. Family members do NOT need to be financial dependents or living with the member to be eligible.

What are the requirements?

An associate degree or 60 credit hours is required to enroll. Students who are just starting out with higher education, and who have not yet earned an associate degree will begin with coursework through the OCSEA Free College program at Eastern Gateway Community College and then transfer into Central State University. Go HERE for information on Eastern Gateway.

How does the financial side work?

Members and their family members can earn a bachelor’s degree online, with low to no out-of-pocket costs. Each student will complete the FAFSA, apply any grants to their account and then will have access to an additional OCSEA Student Success Grant. OCSEA members who are eligible for the Union Education Trust (UET) will apply any Trust money to their account to make up the difference, making their cost zero.

For family members and other OCSEA members NOT eligible for UET, the most they will pay in annual out-of-pocket costs is $4,000, and for many, it will be significantly less and for some, even zero, depending on how much in federal grants they receive. E-textbooks and fees are included in the out-of-pocket maximum. (Note: for some programs, additional costs, such as background checks, fingerprinting and others, are the responsibility of the student.)

What do I need to do? 

  1. Fill out the FAFSA and use any federal grants to pay for tuition.
  2. Fill out OCSEA Union Education Trust (UET) paperwork to qualify for the benefit.
  3. Apply to Central State University

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