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Student debt, mental health among topics in State of the University at Ohio State

President Kristina Johnson delivered the State of the University address on Thursday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson talked about a long list of accomplishments during her State of the University address on Thursday.

Johnson said Ohio State helped beat out 40 other states to land Intel's new semiconductor campus, which is a $20 billion investment that is expected to bring about 20,000 jobs.

During the address, Johnson also highlighted the university's Scarlet and Gray Advantage program, which is designed to help undergrads earn their bachelor's degrees without debt.

The pilot program is launching this fall with 125 students, which Johnson said will help the university work out any issues before taking the program to scale.

“The ultimate goal is to do this at scale so that, without the burden of student loans, Ohio State graduates can say ‘yes’ to every great opportunity life throws their way — graduate school, a job they are passionate about, service, homeownership, a family," Johnson said.

When it comes to students, Johnson said the university is continuing to create a culture of kindness after the upheaval of the pandemic.

The university created a commission on student mental health and well-being last year, which Johnson said the university is acting on the commission's recommendations.

“We are now implementing the commission’s five recommendations, including enhancing the services currently available for those who are struggling and getting our students to not hesitate when they need help," Johnson said.

Johnson also touted the university's fiscal strength, saying its fundraising campaign surpassed the $3 billion mark in February.

“Ohio State demonstrated great fiscal strength overall, including with strong investment performance and positive momentum in our health system, allowing us to outperform fiscal year 2020,” she said.

However, one topic that wasn't covered was safety on and off-campus. Several students told 10TV that was something they wished would have been talked about.

To watch President Johnson's address in full, click here.

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