Everything You Need to Know About the Quarter to Semester Transition

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The Quarter to Semester Transition

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The Quarter to Semester Transition

The quarter to semester transition is quickly approaching! Will your student be able to graduate on time? How will you pay tuition under the new semester system? What on earth is May Session? If you’ve ever wondered these things, this article is for you! Here is a compilation of all of Parent and Family Relation’s information on the quarter to semester transition: from what tuition structures will look like, to filling out a Transitional Academic Plan (TAP), it’s all here.


What is the Quarter to Semester Transition?

*From June 2011 newsletter

A new academic calendar, adopted by the Board of Trustees, will become effective in summer 2012. This academic calendar will take Ohio State from a “quarter system” to a “semester system” for classes and course credits. The Ohio State University realizes that students and family members have questions regarding the university’s conversion from quarters to semesters.

There are numerous resources to help your student in the transition. A great resource for information is the Semester Conversion website, designed to help students, faculty, and staff experience a smooth transition to the semester calendar, and to keep families and community friends aware of how Ohio State is preparing for the semester system. As the university converts to semesters, OSU is dedicated to protecting the academic progress of students. Please take special not of the Pledge to Undergraduate Students included on the Semester Conversion Website. Your students should work closely with their academic advisors as we prepare for the change. Students and their advisors will collaborate to develop effective course plans that lead to a timely graduation. The university will have many online advising tools available to assist with this process, including the Transitional Academic Plan (TAP- a term-by-term plan toward a degree), quarter to semester degree audits, and course conversion guides. Students and parents are encouraged to check the Semester Conversion website for updates as well as more information.

Visit the Semester Conversion website.

For a more student-focused web site that consolidates links to semester conversion information, visit MySwitch. MySwitch is designed to guide students through the approaching quarter to semester conversion that begins Summer 2012. It is a one-stop shop for links to all semester related information, including advising tools, the Course Conversion Guide, scheduling tips, calendars, financial and housing information, and considerations for the short summer of 2012. It is designed by Undergraduate Student Government, the Offices of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Life to be attractive to students, easy to use, and easy to maintain.

Visit the MySwitch website.


Why transition to semesters?

There are many advantages to the semester system. This transition will make it easier to transfer credits from or to another college. More than 90% of American universities use a semester calendar. This solidarity with other colleges will also extend to the calendar year. Ohio State students will enter the job and internship market (as graduates or for summer jobs) at the same time as those attending other universities and will not be disadvantaged by the quarter schedule’s end in mid-June. Additionally, students will only need to register for classes, pay fees and complete other administrative work twice a year rather than three times.

Finally, the semester conversion will create a better curriculum for Ohio State students. Many academic departments are taking advantage of the transition to revise their major and minor requirements. OSU’s faculty and staff have begun updating individual courses and fitting them to the semester, as well as revising and improving these courses. The semester transition will serve to strengthen OSU academically as well as competitively.


How will tuition be paid on semesters?

*From February 2012 newsletter.

The Ohio State University has pledged that the cost of tuition and fees will not be affected by the shift to semesters. However, instead of the usual three tuition/fee payments per year on the quarter system, the semester system will only have two payments per year. Instead of an Ohio resident paying $3,245 in tuition and fees three times per year, the resident will pay $4,867 in tuition and fees twice a year. Students will make fewer payments on the semester system, but those payments will be for larger amounts. Financial aid will also be distributed in this way. The same amount will be applied to two semesters in larger distributions.

Like the quarter system, under the semester system tuition and fees will be due 7 days prior to the beginning of classes every semester. If students wish to distribute payments over a longer time period, the Tuition Option Payment Plan (TOPP) will remain a choice under semesters. TOPP will split the payment for one semester, with half due 7 days before the first day of classes and the second half due halfway through the semester. Please keep in mind that the Summer 2012 semester will only be 10 weeks long, and students will have less time to work and save money for the upcoming academic year. Remind your student, and encourage them to plan their semester finances in advance.

For more information on tuition deadlines or the TOPP, visit the Office of Financial Services.


How will my student's course work convert to semesters?

*From January 2012 newsletter.

If your student is transitioning from quarters to semesters, make sure they have completed a TAP, of a Transitional Academic Plan. The TAP is a degree projection to help map the courses needed to fulfill your student’s remaining curricular requirements as we make the transition from quarters to semesters. Advisors and students work together, using TAP to ensure that the student is prepared for the quarter to semester conversion. This will ensure that students are planning their schedule based upon the quarter/semester offerings and prerequisites for each course that they have remaining up to and after the semester conversion. TAP provides a university-wide means for advisors to record a term-by-term advising plan for each student and will help support advising during- and beyond- the transition to semesters.

Students may be required to complete a TAP and/or attend an advising informational session depending on their field of study. To determine if your student needs a TAP, have them log on to their Student Center and check the TO DO list. If a TAP is required, the TO DO list will read: “TAP Required- Semesters”. The TO DO item will also provide your student with additional instructions on how to complete their TAP.

Encourage your student to meet frequently with his/her academic advisers!


How will the Quarter to Semester Transition affect Summer 2012?

*From November 2011 newsletter.

For many Ohio State students, the summer break offers an opportunity to relax and vacation. For many others, the summer is an opportunity to find gainful employment to assist in paying the bills associated with the upcoming academic year. As we look toward Ohio State's semester conversion in the summer of 2012, students and families need to plan for a major one year change to the summer calendar.

The 2011 summer break lasted for 102 days, from the last day of finals in Spring 2011 to the first day of class in Fall 2011. The 2012 summer break, however, will only last 72 days, from the last day of final examinations on June 7, 2012 to the start of Fall Semester on August 22, 2012. The shortened summer will only happen for one year, the summer of 2013 will return to the typical 111 day length.

Though the semester conversion will offer many benefits to Ohio State and its students, students and families need to plan ahead for the shortened 2012 summer. Vacation planning, a shortened time to work to pay for expenses in the upcoming year, internship timing, and an earlier deadline for fee payment are all areas for which families should make preparation as we look to semester conversion in Summer 2012.

For a more detailed article on what Summer 2012 could mean for students, check out the Lantern article on the subject.


Will OSU dining plans be affected by the Quarter to Semester transition?

*From April 2012 newsletter.

University Residences and Dining Services has created a brand new dining plan for the semester schedule! Instead of using swipes, students will use blocks, with each block worth $5.00. Blocks are packaged into three different meal plans. These meal plans cater to different class, studying, sleeping, social, and exercise schedules to best meet the needs of the individual student.

The Unlimited Plan

The Unlimited Plan is for the student that does it all! It allows flexibility for students with hectic schedules, in-between class snacking, or with a frequent small-meal routine. This plan includes unlimited dine-in access to any of the Traditional dining operations, plus ten blocks per week at any of the other locations and $150 BuckID cash.

The Block-O Plan

The Block-O Plan offers moderate flexibility for students who vary between 2-3 daily meals and some snacks. This plan has two different amounts, 450 or 600 blocks a semester that can be used at any of OSU’s dining locations, plus $150 BuckID cash.


The Traditional Plan is perfect for students who eat a typical breakfast/ lunch/ dinner or brunch/dinner during specific timeframes and are comfortable with dining at select locations. This plan includes a weekly allocation of 19 meals: one per dining period (3 per weekday, 2 per weekend day) at Traditional operations (Kennedy, Morrill and North). This plan also includes 2 blocks per week that can be used anywhere on campus.

For a list of fees, or to learn more about the Semester Dining Plan, click here.


What is the May Session?

*From March 2012 newsletter.

The semester conversion will create many new opportunities for students. The academic calendar will include a new May Session within the summer 2013 semester, and all following summer semesters. This shortened session will be an extra four week session of study during May. All May Session classes will use a daily in-class meeting pattern of 2.5 hour class periods. Students enrolled in Spring Semester will automatically be eligible to take 3 credit hours, free of tuition costs, during the May Session. Tuition for enrollment beyond three credits, as well as fees, will be charged.

May Session will be a great opportunity for students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, special topics courses, and much more. May Session will be considered the first part of the Summer Term, and registration will take place during summer enrollment periods, typically before spring break. Credit hours earned in the May Session will be added to credit hours earned in the Summer Session to determine federal financial aid eligibility. Students not enrolled during Summer Term will not be required to attend school during the May Session.


Parent and Family Relations
The Ohio State University
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1739 North High Street
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(614) 292-9153

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