Changing the college conversation
(in a good way!)

As a school counselor, you know all too well the impact that the nation’s college debt crisis is having on the college conversation. More than ever students want to know not only about going to college – but also about avoiding college debt!

The Dual Admission Program provides a cost-effective college option for Central Ohio students – one that we know you’ll be eager to share with your students! The program is the ideal college solution for:

  • Families who are concerned about college costs
  • Students who want a private college education
  • Students who plan to attend college locally
  • Savvy students who want to graduate with minimal student debt

We invite you reach out to Columbus State and Otterbein admissions departments for any assistance you need as you present this program to your students.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Dual Admission Program

How can students apply to the Dual Admission program?

When students apply to Columbus State they only  complete ONE application, the Dual Admission application found on this website and located on Columbus State’s website at Admission to both Columbus State and Otterbein will be determined from this single application process.

What are all the pieces of a complete Columbus State Admission application?

All that is required to apply for admission is completing and submitting the Dual Admission application. There are no essays, letters of recommendation or high school transcripts required for admission.

Does Columbus State require an ACT or SAT?

No, these tests are not required for admission. If students have taken the ACT or SAT, we recommend that they submit scores to Columbus State for use in the placement process (to determine which classes they should take their first semester). Previous college credit (including AP, CCP and CLEP) may also be used for placement.

Does Columbus State require a placement test?

If students do not have college-ready ACT or SAT scores, or qualifying college credit (including AP, CCP, or CLEP credit), they will be required to take Reading, Writing and Math placement tests. The Science placement test is required for majors requiring science courses. These test scores determine the appropriate course level placement for first-term students.

What is the financial benefit of the DUAL Admission Program?

Building upon both Columbus State’s and Otterbein’s historic commitment to affordability — neither school has raised tuition in at least four years — the Dual Admission Program allows students to earn two degrees for less than half of the cost of a single, four-year degree at an Ohio public university.

Cost savings are achieved by:

  • Earning an associate degree that fulfills the first two years of bachelor degree requirements – at Columbus State’s low tuition rate.
  • Receiving a $17,000 per-year scholarship to Otterbein to complete a bachelor degree at the discounted tuition price of $16,224
  • Avoiding on-campus housing and meal-plan costs by continuing to live at home (the program is non-residential for all four years).
  • Following a pre-mapped academic path to ensure graduation in four years.
Can Dual Admission students live in a dorm?

Living on campus is not included as part of the Dual Admission Program. It is a non-residential program, which is an important part of reducing overall college costs.  The average cost of room and board at Ohio public universities is $11,000 a year, so students can reduce overall college costs by an average $44,000 by continuing to live at home. Students will still be able to engage fully in campus life as commuter students, having full access to all student organizations and activities.

What is the cost of the DUAL admission program?

Earning an associate degree at Columbus State costs about $5,038 a year. By working with our shared academic advisor and graduating in two years, students will spend half of what their education would cost at an Ohio public four year university. Most Columbus State students (78%)  do not take out student loans, keeping their after-graduation debt as low as possible.

Otterbein University will offer students a special tuition rate, currently $16,224 a year, for the final two years of the student’s bachelor degree. This special tuition rate is a 51% discount from our annual tuition, and is offered to make sure the total cost of the degree remains affordable.

The estimated total cost of a college education through the Dual Admission Program is $42,524. See how this compares.

Can Dual Admission students qualify for financial aid?

Students enrolling in the Dual Admission Program who complete the FAFSA are eligible for the full complement of state and federal need-based aid based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated by the federal government, for each year they are in college. Families may also participate in the federal low-interest Stafford loan program, and the Parent PLUS loan program, and they may work with private lenders. One of the goals of the DAP program is to keep student loan debt as low as possible, so students are counseled to borrow as little as is necessary.

What majors are available in this program?

Click here for a list of academic majors and more information about each.

What support will the student receive?

Beginning students first semester, the joint Columbus State and Otterbein advising team will work with them to determine what courses to take to ensure that requirements are met both for the associate degree at Columbus State and the bachelor degree at Otterbein. Students may contact advisors at either school for assistance at any time. In addition, both campuses offer complete support services, provided to students free of charge, including:

  • Tutoring
  • Career counseling
  • Personal Counseling
  • Financial aid assistance
  • Disability Services
  • Military and Veterans Services
  • Services for first-generation college students

More information can be found at and

Can students follow the academic plans as a College Credit Plus (CCP) student?

Yes. If a student wishes to enroll in Columbus State CCP course work but know that, they would like to earn an associate degree and a bachelor degree through the Dual Admission Program, they can begin using the pathways while in high school.