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Questions about Independent Colleges including legislative or other issues?

Ask AICUO President, C. Todd Jones for the answers.




Would you like to ask AICUO President C. Todd Jones a question? Just e-mail your question to




Is Air Force Institute of Technology considered government, private or public?

The U.S. Department of Education considers it a “public” university, much as it considers the Air Force Academy to be a public university.  Since its assets are owned by the government (in this case, the federal government), and its leadership is selected by public officials, I would consider it a publicly owned university.

The institution is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, which is the case with independent colleges and state-owned public colleges.  

The state of Ohio owns its public universities and their trustees are appointed by the governor.  That said, I believe that admissions to AIT are limited to Air Force personnel, which is not the case with state-owned public universities.





Would you like to ask AICUO President C. Todd Jones a question? Just e-mail your question to



Previous questions:

Why should independent colleges be involved in any state plans?


Independent colleges, by virtue of their nonprofit status, are operated in the public interest. Just as public hospitals serve their communities in the public interest under their independent nonprofit boards, so too do independent colleges serve their students and their communities. Museums, food banks, and other public nonprofit enterprises are integral parts of state and local government plans. Governments work collaboratively with their independent boards and leadership. Private colleges should be no different.

If the economic success of the state is related to increasing the number of college graduates in Ohio, it makes no practical difference if those graduates come from public or independent institutions. Both public and private colleges must be a part of any government higher education policy.

Independent colleges are the original colleges, which were followed later by public “land-grant,” community, and technical colleges. They are as integral to the state as any other home-grown institution. Moreover, because seventy percent of independent college students are citizens of Ohio with nearly identical economic-demographic profiles, their students are no less appropriate recipients of state aid than those at public colleges. (Indeed, the state's most racially diverse four-year campuses and largest educators of students over age 25 are independent colleges. Any state plans to address minorities and adult learners must include private colleges to be effective.)