Ohio State University (OSU) and President Kristina Johnson announced a new program that will help students obtain a degree without going into debt.

The initiative, entitled the “Scarlet and Gray Advantage,” was announced during a program honoring Johnson, who was recently hired by the university.

When the program initially launches, it will “select 125 low- and middle-income first-year students in Autumn 2022 to be part of a Scarlet & Gray Advantage pilot that will hone strategies to optimize university services and identify opportunities to further enhance student support.”

In order to achieve the goal, students will have access to a greater number of scholarships, grants and paid internships.

“Ultimately, you’ll be more successful at what you’re passionate about, no matter what it pays,” Johnson said, noted by the Associated Press. “We just want them to have that equality of opportunity.”

When speaking at the event, President Johnson also highlight the success of recent crime-reduction strategies, detailed that crime in the area has dropped 60%

The increase in violent encounters sparked concern among parents of students.

Previously, Johnson announced added security actions will provide $20 million over the next 10 years to improve safety for students on and around the university’s campus.

According to Johnson, the extra funds will be used to hire private security and install additional mobile lighting around the area where students live.

As a part of the program, Buckeye Block Watch will provide patrols in the neighborhood around the campus on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

As stated by the university, the members of the patrol will continuously canvas the region on foot and bikes. However, the members of the patrol “are not sworn law enforcement officers, and will not have arrest powers or carry firearms.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Graduate” by The Ohio State University.