Biltz has family tree at AU, but accounting brought him to campus

The Ashland University campus is a familiar place for Mark Biltz of Holmes County.

07/21/2021 ASHLAND, Ohio -- The Biltz family has a long history with Ashland University. Mark Biltz’s parents met at AU when his dad, Scott Biltz, was a senior nose guard on the football team, and his mother, Melissa Rohr (Biltz), was a sophomore. And one of Biltz’s older brothers graduated from Ashland this past spring as an accounting major.

However, it wasn’t the family legacy at Ashland that was the main driving force in Biltz deciding to go to Ashland. He went to West Holmes High School in Millersburg and when visiting Ashland, he felt something very familiar.

“I went to a small high school where the teachers were able to pay extra close attention to students because of class sizes,” Biltz said. “That was really important to me. I knew Ashland would provide the same type of instruction. They’d know my name and the education would be customized to meet my needs. So, I felt at home and knew Ashland was the place for me. It’s like a family.”

Majoring in accounting, Biltz quickly learned something else he appreciated about the Ashland experience. He valued learning the fundamentals of subjects, and really appreciated the freedom to use those foundations as he saw fit.

“What’s great about Ashland is that the professors give students the building blocks of what to learn, then allow students to expand on that, and think the way they want about subjects, all the while guiding them,” Biltz said. “My early finance classes started with the basics, but then I was able to branch out and adopt what I learned the way I wanted to. Once you get the foundation, you can go anywhere.”

When Biltz mentions “anywhere”, he means it. Relying on the foundations he was learning in his accounting, finance and business classes, Biltz, as a sophomore, had the confidence to give entrepreneurship a shot.

Last summer, Biltz was watching dirt bike races at a track. It was a sweltering day with very little means of refreshments. Biltz thought it would be a great idea for the track to have a mobile snow cone cart. He contacted the track’s owner and learned that there was a snow cone vendor in the past, but was no longer in business. He reached out to the previous owner, and with the help of a business partner, bought his trailer and equipment. The business, “Brain Freezz”, was born.

“Ashland has such a great environment to discover interests and passions in life,” Biltz said. “Professors allow you to believe in what you believe in, and never want you to doubt yourself. With that comes confidence, and I have used that confidence whether it’s with Brain Freezz or the internship I did at (The J.M. Smucker Co.) in their Internal Audit Department. Whatever I decide to do in the future, Ashland has helped me find my footing.”

That footing seems planted in finance for the Ashland University junior.

“While I love accounting, I picked up finance as a double major because the professors and classes opened my eyes to possibilities in that field,” Biltz said. “I always think numbers and about financial opportunities and benefits, which is one of the other reasons I love Ashland. The scholarships and grants provided by Ashland stack up against any other institution. My scholarships have allowed me to cut 40 percent off tuition.”

Finance is a lot about weighing risk versus reward. For Biltz, when he factored in the financial commitment the university has with students, coupled with engaged professors and advisors, a close-knit student body and friendly environment, it was all reward in choosing Ashland.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) offers each of its student constituencies The Ashland Promise, including “teaching students how to think, not what to think”. Committed to affordability, the University now offers incoming residential freshman the Tuition Relief Scholarship, as well as a variety of new forms of financial assistance for both new and continuing students. ###