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More Students and Pay (by the Millions) for UC’s Growing Co-op Class


Participation in UC’s internationally renowned co-op program has risen almost 25 percent in the last five years. And students’ pay is likewise on the rise – growing by millions each year.

Date: 8/9/2008 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Lisa Ventre

UC ingot  

Participation in the University of Cincinnati's nationally ranked cooperative education (co-op) program is at a historic high. And so is the collective millions in pay that students earn via co-op.

Co-op student Ren Brown at right.
Brianna Frappier, left, of Kolar Design and current UC co-op student Ren Brown work together on a project.

In the last five years, the number of placements of UC students in co-op has risen 23.5 percent. This matches a trend found at other co-op schools nationally.

Cooperative education, or co-op as it's commonly called, is where students alternate quarters or semesters in the classroom with quarters or semesters of paid, professional work related directly to their majors. UC is the global founder of co-op, having established the practice in 1906.

The just-completed 2007-2008 academic year saw more than 3,000 UC students placed in 5,258 co-op jobs where they earned a collective $35 million.  It’s the largest number of jobs ever held and the largest collective paycheck (in a single year's time) by students participating in UC’s co-op program, which is ranked in the nation’s Top Ten by U.S. News & World Report.

The Figures

  • In the 2007-2008 school year, UC students held 5,258 jobs via the university's nationally ranked co-op program. It’s the first time UC’s co-op program has ever broken the 5,000 threshold for co-op placements.
  • The last five years have brought a 23.5 percent rise in co-op participation at UC.
  • Five years ago in 2002-2003, UC co-op students earned a collective $25 million. In 2007-2008, those collective earnings came to $35 million. Currently, the best-paid UC co-ops make as much as $32.88 per hour, with average co-op pay running at $14.25 per hour. (Five years ago, that average hourly figure stood at about $10 per hour.)
  • In the coming 2008-2009 year, UC students are expected to co-op and to earn a collective $37 million.
  • Five years ago, about 1,300 employers around the globe hired UC co-ops. Last year, that number stood at 1,500.
  • In 2007-2008, UC students representing 45 academic majors participated in co-op in 638 U.S. cities and at least a dozen other countries. This summer alone, UC students are working, earning and gaining real-world experience in Berlin, London, Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, Venice and Zurich – as well as right here in Cincinnati and Ohio.
  • Upon graduation, about 66 percent of UC co-op students receive job offers from their co-op employers. Fifty percent of those students accept that job offer. Fifty percent accept a better job offer.


The Facts

  • UC is the global founder of co-op. The university invented the practice of co-op in 1906.
  • Co-op is where students alternate quarters in the classroom with quarters of paid, professional work related directly to their majors.
  • UC houses the country’s largest co-op program at any public institution in the United States.
  • According to the National Commission for Cooperative Education, 95 percent of co-op students have jobs immediately upon graduation. Sixty percent of these co-op students take permanent jobs with their co-op employers upon graduation.


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