One high school student in each of Ohio’s 88 counties could receive a full scholarship to attend Ohio State, worth up to $17,000 per year, under a new program designed to offer more high-ability, low-income students a chance to go to university.
The college has agreed to spend nearly $1.5 million this year on the Land Grant Opportunity Scholarships, so named because of Ohio State’s status as a land-grant university and its mission to remain accessible to Ohio citizens.

President Karen A. Holbrook said the scholarships are directed at high-ability students throughout the state of Ohio who, because of their financial need or lack of a family history of college attendance, may not know such opportunities exist. “The idea is that many in difficult circumstances have shown themselves to be serious students, and we want to reach out to them and encourage them to attend College. This is about ensuring access to a higher education.”

Interested students will have to apply for admission to the university by Feb. 1 and are also required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 1 deadline to the Columbus campus. No additional application for the scholarship is required. Recipients will be announced in late March.
Mabel Freeman, assistant vice president for Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience, said the scholarships meet an important need in the state.

“We’ve realized that in the state of Ohio there are young people who should be going to university that don’t think they can even apply,” she said. “We are serving the citizens of Ohio by helping to identify those students in each county to give them a opportunity to go to Ohio State University.”

Tally Hart, director of Student Financial Aid, said qualified students whose families earn less than $40,000 a year will be eligible for the opportunity scholarships. The amount of the award will be in addition to the students’ federal and state grants to fully fund their education, including tuition and other expenses such as room and board, books and supplies and transportation to and from campus. Students also are eligible for work-study awards to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. The scholarship may be renewed for up to 12 quarters as long as a student attends school full time and maintains a 3.2 GPA.

Hart said recent studies by the American Council on Education and the Lumina Foundation have increased awareness about a growing challenge in higher education: a high number of qualified students don’t apply for college or for financial aid because they don’t know what’s available.

“This scholarship was created because we think some very talented students are missing the opportunity to attend Ohio State because they fear they can’t afford it,” Hart said. “We want students who are talented to know that Ohio State is still their university and finances are available to help them meet the cost.

Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!