Back to school for colleges, too

Otterbein students head back to class

Westerville — It’s the first week of the school year for students at Otterbein University, including approximately 620 new students, representing 25 states and 10 foreign countries.

Regionally, the new class represents 62 Ohio counties. Forty-five students have enrolled from Columbus City Schools, thanks to outreach programs to the district’s graduates, which boast a 94 percent retention rate. Other statistics include:

· This fall’s first-year class exceeds 20 percent students of color, or 133 students; it is the most diverse class in Otterbein’s history, for the fourth year in a row.

· Thirty-two percent of the entering class is eligible for the federal Pell grant.

· More than 40 percent of the class having a 3.8 or higher GPA.

· Retention is up eight percent over the last five years, from 75 percent to more than 83 percent.

Otterbein also has 25 new international students this fall and two international scholars, representing 10 countries. The students come from China, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Students from South Korea are the largest incoming group followed by Japan, then China.

The most popular majors for this class are nursing, business, health and sport sciences, and biology. Students in these majors will be uniquely prepared for their careers as Otterbein’s curriculum blends liberal arts and humanities with professional studies to educate the whole person.

Last week, new students kicked off their college experience with a week of activities on campus and in the Westerville community, including a day of community service, picnic, concert and movie night.

Friday, Aug. 25

First Friday Festival, 3:30-6 p.m., 100 W. Home St. – This annual tradition closes the first week of classes with activities showcasing Westerville businesses, campus organizations and the variety of ways students can get involved on and off campus.

Otterbein University is a small private university nationally-recognized for its intentional blending of liberal arts and professional studies through its renowned Integrative Studies curriculum and its commitments to experiential learning and community engagement. Otterbein is a recipient of the 2015 Carnegie Community Service Classification; a finalist for the 2014 President’s Award for Economic Opportunity Community Service; and has been honored With Distinction by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the list’s inception in 2006. It stands in its category’s top 10 percent in U.S. News & World Report’s guide to “America’s Best Colleges.” Otterbein offers more than 70 undergraduate majors; seven master’s programs; and a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP). Its picturesque campus is perfectly situated in Westerville, Ohio, America’s fifth friendliest town (Forbes), just minutes from Columbus, the 14th largest city in the country. Otterbein’s commitment to opportunity started with its founding in 1847 as one of the nation’s first universities to welcome women and persons of color to its community of teachers and learners, which now numbers 2,400 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Otterbein remains committed to its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its spirit of inclusion, and welcomes people of all backgrounds to Otterbein’s Model Community. To learn more about Otterbein, visit

Ohio State University welcomes students for autumn semester

Student move-in is Saturday, Aug. 19

COLUMBUS – Students will be moving into residence halls over the next several days ahead of the start of the new school year on Aug. 22. Approximately 14,000 students will live in Columbus campus residence halls.

Buckeye Kick Off, Thursday, Aug. 25, 6 to 8 p.m., Ohio Stadium. Students learn about Buckeye spirit in a program that features TBDBITL, celebrities, a Block O card stunt and more. South Stands open at 6 p.m. for a tailgate, free food and fan fest. Stadium gates open at 6:30 and the program begins at 7 p.m. Students will be invited to stay until the end to come onto the field and pose for a historic group photo on the football field. CONTACT: Dave Isaacs, Student Life, SEE:

Community Commitment, Saturday, Aug. 26, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Over 1,000 Buckeyes are expected to volunteer to serve their new community in the annual Community Commitment, one of the largest single-day community service events held on a college campus. After meeting in the Ohio Union, students travel to one of many agencies across Columbus, where they serve alongside one another. Past projects have included working at COSI, local food pantries, the Columbus Zoo, and at a variety of other nonprofit agencies. CONTACT: Dave Isaacs, Student Life,

Living Off Campus? BBB Has Tips For College Students

Columbus — The fall semester is just around the corner for 50 plus college campuses in Central Ohio. Students are beginning to pack up and move, and for many who aren’t living in campus housing, that means living off campus with a landlord for the school year.

Whether you’re living alone for the first time or moving in with roommates, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and review the lease again prior to moving in. Better Business Bureau has tips to help students be successful while renting.

Before You Move In

Know your cosigners. Students will often combine friend groups or ask an acquaintance to live with them in order to fill a house. Make an effort to speak with and learn about your cosigners before you live in a shared space.

Figure out how you are going to pay your bills (utilities, cable, gas, etc). It may be that each resident is in charge of paying a different bill and then lets the others know how much they owe them. Paying bills can be complicated and stressful, so developing a plan early on is beneficial.

Determine how you’ll handle the cleaning. Who will be in charge of what? It could be helpful to make a cleaning schedule giving each house member a different duty.

Discuss rules regarding guests. What times are appropriate for visitors?

Moving Into an Apartment or House

Document your new home’s move-in condition. Note every flaw or defect on your move-in condition form so that you aren’t held responsible for those damages later.

Take photos of your apartment/house. Before you bring anything in, take photos of the floors, walls, appliances, windows and anything else you may be held liable for after you move out. The photos will help you have documentation available if a dispute were to arise between you and the landlord after moving out.

Keep a copy of your lease in a safe place that can easily be referenced.

Meet with your landlord and discuss lawn care expectations. How often are they going to mow the lawn, and will they supply salt and help shovel in the winter? What will you be responsible for?

Familiarize yourself with Ohio’s Tenant/Landlord Rights and Obligations.

Going on Vacation or Away for Break

Notify your landlord that you will be away, and let them know how long. They will need to know how to reach you if there is a problem, and can make sure to keep an eye on your apartment/home.

Leave your curtains opened to the amount you’d usually have them while at home. If they are completely open, anyone can clearly see no one is home. If they are closed, your home could look suspicious and your landlord would not be able to see inside if there is a problem.

Unplug appliances including your television, toaster, and desktop computer if you have one. This will protect your appliances from power surges and help save power. If you are going to be gone for an extended amount of time, like on a holiday break or vacation, consider taking your valuables with you. Do not leave laptops or other expensive electronics behind unattended. If possible, take televisions with you as well if you are going to be away for a while.

Don’t leave your lights on. Your electric bill will be high and lights on at all hours of the night may look a little strange. Renters can consider purchasing a light switch timer that can be programmed to turn your lights on and off automatically. That way, if you forget to turn off your lights before leaving or going to bed, they will shut off automatically after a certain amount of time — saving energy and money.

If you are searching for last minute living arrangements, be able to identify the red flags of a rental scam:

  • The deal sounds too good to be true.
  • The landlord is located elsewhere and prefers to only communicate via email.
  • The landlord requires a substantial deposit before handing over the keys or even showing the property.
  • The landlord discloses the actual location of the property and won’t provide an address.
  • The landlord asks the renter to wire money.

For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at

About BBB

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.

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Otterbein University students receive traditional claps from faculty in 2016. University students receive traditional claps from faculty in 2016.

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