Earning while Learning: UC Co-op Student Earnings Hit $50 Million

Students in the University of Cincinnati's renowned Cooperative Education

Program likely can afford to celebrate their accomplishments from the past year. After all, their bank accounts benefited from a combined $50 million boost.

In the 2013-14 academic year UC – which founded co-op in 1906 – reached the $50 million threshold for collective student co-op earnings for the first time. Co-op provides students the opportunity to alternate semesters of study with semesters of professionally paid work directly related to their majors in ever-advancing sequences.

These latest earnings results

continue a five-year trend of consistent growth

. Student earnings have risen at least $600,000 each year for the past five years, including a $2 million jump from 2012-13 to last year.

The steady, five-year climb can be found in several other important measures of success for UC’s

Cooperative Education Program

, including unique co-op students, unique co-op employers and overall average salary per co-op student. Taken together, these trends become a strong indicator of the value of being

Cincinnati Smart

– a unique and effective way of learning from classroom-meets-real-world experiences made possible at UC.

Here’s a look at other impressive experiential learning numbers for the 2013-14 academic year as reported by the

Division of Professional Practice and Experiential Learning


  • Collective co-op student earnings: $50 million
  • Total unique co-op students: 4,283
  • Total co-op placements: 5,111
  • Total unique internship students: 215
  • Total internship experiences: 235
  • Overall average hourly salary per co-op student: $15.74
  • Average earnings per co-op student: $10,710
  • Total unique co-op employers: 1,287 (including Duke Energy, General Electric, Great American Insurance Group, Kroger and Toyota)
  • Placement rate for UC students eligible to co-op: 98 percent
  • Co-op student performance rating from immediate supervisors: 91 percent good or excellent
  • Co-op students’ ratings of their work placement: 93 percent good or excellent


Cooperative education is a primary reason students attend UC, one of the most memorable experiences for alumni and a valuable resource for co-op employers and partners. With co-op growth, the Division of Professional Practice and Experiential Learning (ProPEL) is continually seeking co-op opportunities for students. If you have an opportunity for a UC student or are interested in starting a co-op program, contact ProPEL at 513-556-4632, coop@uc.edu or


. Prospective employers also can go online to learn how to

get started with co-op


UC is the

global birthplace of cooperative education

, houses the largest mandatory co-op program in the nation, and the university’s co-op program is ranked in the nation’s Top Tier by U.S. News & World Report.


Find out more about being Cincinnati Smart

. Then share your story or start your own journey toward becoming a Bearcat.