FREE Bachelor's Degree

in partnership with Franklin University!  

Franklin University was founded in 1902 in Columbus, Ohio and has become a leader in helping busy adult learners earn a college degree conveniently. Now, as part of OCSEA’s Free College Benefit program with Franklin University, members and their family members can complete a bachelor’s degree in certain programs 100% online with no out-of-pocket cost!

The OCSEA Free College bachelor's degree benefit is available to all dues-paying OCSEA members as well as ALL family members (including extended family) of a dues-paying member. This degree is only available to those students who DO NOT have a previous bachelor’s degree.

Confirm Eligibility Interest Form

Learn how to apply


For more information, call OCSEA toll-free at 1-800-969-4702 or email

DOWNLOAD: Franklin University Informational Flier


Upcoming Sessions:

January 24, 2022
February 14, 2022
March 14, 2022

More about the Free College Franklin University Bachelor’s program

OCSEA has partnered with Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio to offer all OCSEA members (including retirees) and their extended family members the benefit of a totally free bachelor’s degree program. To enroll at Franklin, dues-paying OCSEA members of qualifying family members must have an associate degree or 60 credit hours of college. Each student will be eligible for an OCSEA Student Success Grant. The cost for tuition, fees and books will be ZERO. OCSEA members who are eligible for the Union Education Trust (UET) benefit must use those funds for enrollment in the program. All applicants whether eligible for Union Education Trust funds or not must fill out a federal aid form (FAFSA).

Classes online, on your own time

The totally free bachelor’s program is completely online, allowing busy members and their family members to get their degree with their schedule in mind. Franklin University is located in Columbus, Ohio and fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Credits are transferable. Students can attend as part-time or full-time and all courses are online.


Bachelor of Science - Management and Leadership

The Franklin University Management & Leadership bachelor's curriculum offers a highly unique combination of leadership, change management, organizational culture and performance, and strategic execution. The coursework will prepare students to be better positioned to become more dynamic leaders—operating within their strengths while allowing employees to grow in theirs. This coursework goes beyond leadership basics to master core skills in the areas of transformational, servant, and authentic leadership, strategic management, organizational development, change management, culture and performance enhancement, and human resources management.

Discounted RN to BSN

Are you or a family member a Registered Nurse with an associate degree? OCSEA's RN to BSN degree program through Franklin University is seriously discounted and 100% online for any RN who already has an associate degree but is wishing to earn their bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the OCSEA Discounted College Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree HERE.

Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice

Through the criminal justice bachelor's degree program, students will learn to preserve and maintain social order by gaining critical skills in these key areas: law enforcement; corrections, probation, and parole; juvenile justice, delinquency, and juvenile corrections; criminology theory and crime control; and criminal justice leadership and administration.

Bachelor of Science - Social Science

The Social Sciences bachelor's degree curriculum provides students with a core set of skills that are valuable to employers in virtually any industry. The coursework helps improve one's ability to function and communicate as part of a team, think critically, and solve problems. The Social Sciences major is well-suited for students interested in research, analysis, human resources, and other social science fields, as well as careers in military service and law enforcement.

Learn how to apply below



Confirm Union Membership & Eligibility

To apply for the OCSEA Franklin University Bachelor's Program, you must be a dues-paying OCSEA union member or related to an OCSEA dues-paying member. Before applying Franklin University, click the "Confirm Eligibility" button below to access the Free Bachelor’s inquiry form and to confirm that you are an OCSEA member or an eligible relative.

Confirm Eligibility


These steps can be completed simultaneously:
Apply for Union Education Trust

If you are an active OCSEA member and a state employee interested in the Free Bachelor's Program for yourself, call 800-969-4702, ext. 2645 or email to confirm eligibility for your union-negotiated Union Education Trust financial aid.

UET Customer Service will guide you through the UET voucher application process.* Any cost not covered by UET vouchers or federal aid (see FASFA® section) will be covered by the Union Free College Scholarship.

* MEMBERS ONLY: Once eligibility has been confirmed and you have been accepted to the college or university and have scheduled classes, you must apply for your UET vouchers.

Learn about UET

Complete the FAFSA® Application

Members and family members interested in the Free Bachelor's Program must submit the federal FAFSA® form to apply for additional financial aid.

Any federal grants you receive will be applied to your tuition and fees and textbooks first; the OCSEA Student Success Grant will cover the rest. Make sure, if you are an OCSEA member eligible for UET, to also contact UET to start the voucher process.

Fill out the FASFA®

Apply to Franklin University

Once your eligibility has been verified, an advisor will help you apply and enroll in classes. Admission requirements include an official high school transcript or GED scores and an official college transcript, if available.

Got questions? Contact us at 800-969-4702 or

Get a jump start on the application process by clicking the button below:

Apply to Franklin University

Fill out interest form

To take part in the OCSEA FREE College program, you MUST be a dues-paying OCSEA union member or related to an OCSEA member in one of the following ways: child (or step-child), grandchild (or step-grandchild), spouse, financial dependent, niece, nephew, parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or in-law. To be eligible, you must have earned an associate degree or have at least 60 hours of college credit.

Your Contact Information

Membership Status

Are you an OCSEA member? *

This will help OCSEA staff find your records in our membership database.

OCSEA Member's Information

If you are an OCSEA member, this section is not required.

Your relationship to Member*