Free college for OFT members

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Yes, it's true - free college. Eastern Gateway Community College in Ohio is a fully accredited, nonprofit public institution that is part of the University System of Ohio. OFT members and family can enroll in the online distance-learning program with no costs for tuition, fees or e-texts. Credits earned can be transferred to a four-year college; to date, credits have transferred to 320 educational institutions in 39 states. The program offers seven associate degrees, including business administration, early childhood education, accounting, paralegal, criminal justice and two certificate programs.

This is open to all OFT/AFT members, including retirees, as well as their spouses/domestic partners, children, grandchildren, step-children, step-grandchildren, and legal dependents.

How does it work?
Under an academic partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College, the Union Plus Free College Benefit offers grants - known as "last dollar scholarships" - that fill the gap between any federal, state and employer education grants for tuition, fees and e-books for certain online programs at Eastern Gateway.

Is it too good to be true?
The AFT did a thorough review of this program and the institution. Faculty and staff are represented by our colleagues at the NEA. Ohio state law doesn't allow adjuncts to be unionized, but the college president has made a commitment to meeting the AFT's standards for employment of adjunct faculty. So it is true. And it is good.

Education is core to our mission, so we can't think of a better program to offer as one of our newest benefits.

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