4 minute read

Ohio Scholarships & Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Finding a way to pay for college can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are a returning student, a first-time attendee, or a working adult seeking professional development, there are many Ohio financial aid programs for you. Students can apply for federal and state financial aid, university scholarships, and other scholarships from outside sources. It is just a matter of seeking and finding the right aid for you.

Federal and state aid is usually awarded based on income, academic progress, and cumulative grade point average. Ohio scholarships are typically awarded based on merit, talent, financial need, and other factors.

Other financial aid options available at some colleges and universities include tuition payment plans, tuition reimbursement for working adults, and benefits for military students.

Types of Financial Aid in Ohio

1. Federal financial aid
2. Ohio state financial aid
3. Ohio scholarships

Federal Financial Aid for Ohio Students

Most Ohio colleges and universities offer federal financial aid. Typically, the types of aid offered include Pell Grants, Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant Program (ACG), the National SMART Grant, the TEACH Grant, Perkins Loan, the Direct PLUS Loan, and work-study programs.

Grants are gift aid that does not have to be paid back. Loans, on the other hand, must be paid back; however, repayment doesn’t usually begin until several months after graduation. The federal work-study program gives students the opportunity to work part-time to help pay for college expenses. Typically students work up to 20 hours per week through this program.

To be considered for federal financial aid, students must apply for it. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov/ where students can apply online. It is important to apply soon as possible, and prior to the school year in which you will be attending college. In Ohio, students can submit the FAFSA until the usual deadline of June 30.

Ohio State Financial Aid

Financial aid doesn’t stop with federal aid. Students can qualify for Ohio state financial aid, too. Most colleges and universities offer state aid in addition to federal financial aid. There are university grants, and state-funded programs. Ohio’s state financial aid deadline is usually October 1.

Some state financial aid offered in Ohio includes:


  • The Ohio College Opportunity Grant Program (OCOG)—this is a need-based grant to assist Ohio students from low-to-moderate income families. This award is used for tuition assistance.

  • Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund —this fund assists children and spouses of fire fighters, police officers, and other safety officers killed in the line of duty.

  • Nurse Education Assistant Loan Program (NEALP) —this program awards a maximum of $3,000 per year for qualifying future nurses; and $5,000 per year for qualifying instructors.

Ohio Scholarships

Most Ohio scholarships are awarded based on financial need, and merit. Many colleges and universities offer academic or athletic scholarships. These scholarships are unique to the institution, and have specific requirements for eligibility. Academic scholarships can be found through the Admissions office or the financial aid office of your school of choice.

Here are some other Ohio scholarships offered:


  • Ohio Academic Scholarship is awarded to top high school seniors in the amount of $2,025 per year. This is a renewable scholarship.

  • The Lee E. Schauer Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a college-bound high school senior in the amount of $10,000. This award is distributed over four years and must be renewed each year. Student must be a member of the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA to apply.

  • The Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Scholarship awards $1,000 to three students who are attending a Ohio college and majors in journalism, communication, broadcasting, media advertising, or a related field. This scholarship is non-renewable.

  • Ohio War Orphans Scholarship is awarded to children of deceased or severely ill veterans in Ohio, who served in the armed forces. The deadline for submitting an application is July 1 of every year.

  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship recognizes outstanding high school students based on SAT/ACT scores. Up to two nominees per school are accepted and must be submitted by April 15 (of each year). Students are awarded $1,500/year for up to four years. This scholarship is a federally funded program.

Tips to Remember When Applying for Financial Aid

It is important to keep some key points in mind when involved in the financial aid process:


  • Be prepared before filling out the FAFSA, and apply online for faster approval. Collect all necessary IRS forms and other pertinent materials to complete the application.

  • Know your deadlines. Students who apply early have a better chance of qualifying for aid. If you apply after the deadline, your need is handled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • Look for all possible financial aid options within your state, your region, as well as within the school you are attending. There could be some ‘hidden’ scholarships or grants for which you qualify. Check with area financial institutions, organizations, and businesses who offer scholarships. Don’t be afraid to seek out other financial aid options.

  • Ask for help. Completing the financial aid process can be confusing and overwhelming. Contact a school financial aid representative to clarify anything unclear.

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles