Zina Kumok Image Written By: Zina Kumok | Edited By: Kevin Ladd | Updated: June 4, 2024

Ohio Scholarships

Ohio Landscape Panorama

Students from Ohio have access to some of the best public and private colleges in the country. Unfortunately, they might be paying a heavy price to attend them. The average Ohio student graduates with about $30,000 in student loans. And while that’s not as high as the debt burden in the worst states, it’s also a sizable amount to pay back. You can minimize your student loans by finding more scholarships. Not sure how Ohio scholarships work? Keep reading to see how Ohio scholarships can help you pay less out of pocket.

Continue reading the article below the scholarship list.

25 Ohio Scholarships with Approaching Deadlines

What is an Ohio scholarship?

An Ohio scholarship is an award that does not have to be paid back after you leave school or graduate. Students who are either from the Buckeye State or who are attending school there may qualify for Ohio scholarships.

Even within Ohio, there are scholarships that are only available to students from a specific city, county or region. In fact, you may be surprised at how much financial aid is available if you search for hyper-local scholarships.

Where can I find Ohio Scholarships?

Ohio scholarships are available in a variety of places. The first place to start is with the school you're applying to. If you're already enrolled in a college, then you can look at their financial aid department to see what you might be eligible for.

Many schools have scholarships that every student will be considered for just with a basic application. However, they may also have some scholarships that require an extra application on top of the regular admissions application. Don't assume that you have already maxed out your scholarship eligibility if you haven't completed additional forms.

You can also find Ohio scholarships right here at Scholarships.com. In fact, we have included the top 25 right here on this page, but there are plenty more you can find by using our Scholarship Directory and you don't even need to register or log-in to browse. If you do decide to create an account, though, you’ll be notified when new scholarships you qualify for are added or have deadlines coming up.

How to apply for Ohio scholarships

The first thing any Ohio student should do is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is a requirement for many scholarships, especially those given directly by colleges and universities. But some third party scholarship providers also require the FAFSA. Not only does this give them information about your family's financial status, but it also ensures that you've maximized your financial aid before turning to scholarships.

Filling out the FAFSA is also the only way to receive federal grants, like the Pell Grant, and federal student loans. Unless you are not able to legally submit the FAFSA, you should always fill it out.

You should try to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. There are many scholarships that are given on a first come, first served basis.

Also, a school's financial aid priority deadline may be sooner than its final application deadline. Check with the department for financial aid if you’re unsure what the financial aid deadline is.

Make sure to start searching for scholarships as soon as possible, even in your freshman year of high school. If you begin the process early, you’ll become more familiar with writing scholarship essays and finding awards that you’re eligible for.

Ohio Scholarship FAQs

Are there Ohio scholarships for certain minority groups?

There are many Ohio scholarships that prioritize students who come from a diverse background. If you have any kind of ethnic, racial, gender or other type of minority experience, you should look for special Ohio scholarships.

For example, the Ability Center of Greater Toledo Scholarship is given to a student who has some type of disability. There is a 3.0 GPA requirement for this particular scholarship and it awards $2,000 annually. The student must also be from one of the following Ohio counties:

Do you have to attend a public school in Ohio to get an Ohio scholarship?

While in-state schools may have more scholarships than some private schools, you’re not disqualified from most scholarships if you attend a private college or university.

Private schools often offer generous awards packages for students who qualify based on need. Don’t assume that a private school won't come with the scholarships you need to make it work.

Do you have to attend school in Ohio to win an Ohio scholarship?

Many Ohio scholarships require that students attend school in the Buckeye State to qualify - while also being official Ohio residents.

For example, the Ohio Township Association Scholarship is given to a student who has demonstrated interest and a dedication to public service and local government. They must be an Ohio resident and also plan to attend school in Ohio. Students attending both two-year and four-year schools are eligible.

Do you have to be from Ohio to win an Ohio scholarship?

While the term “Ohio scholarships” often sounds like you have to be from Ohio to qualify, that’s not always the case. Some Ohio awards are given to students who decide to attend school there.

If you decide that you’re interested in attending an Ohio college or university, talk to the school’s financial aid department to see which scholarships you might qualify for.

What are the best Ohio scholarships?

The Buckeye State offers a variety of generous scholarships for local students.

One of the best is the Ohio College Opportunity Grant, which is given to students with demonstrated financial need. The annual scholarship amount depends on several factors including the number of credit hours taken as well as the type of institution. Students who attend both public and private schools are eligible. Families can have a maximum household income of $96,000 to qualify. Also, only students in an associate’s, bachelor’s or nursing degree diploma program can qualify.

Students who are attending school less than part-time may still qualify for aid, but they will not receive as much aid as others. They can only receive this grant for 10 semester max or 15 quarters, if their school is on a quarter system. Students need to submit the FAFSA to be eligible for this grant.

Are there scholarships for students from specific Ohio counties or cities?

If you've never applied for a local scholarship before, you might think that the state level is the most specific geographic scholarship you can find. However, some scholarships have specific city or county requirements.

For example, the Ohio Counties Scholarship divides the state into four districts. One student from each regional district will be chosen to win the $2,000 award. Students also need to plan to be in a public service job after they graduate.

No matter where you're from in Ohio, you’ll likely find local scholarships that you can qualify for. Go to Google and search for your county’s name and “scholarships.” These awards usually have far fewer entrants than other scholarships, so you have a greater shot of winning.

Local county scholarships may have rules on which school you attended or graduated from so just make sure you completely understand and meet the requirements.

Are Ohio scholarships available for community college students?

Those attending community college, vocational school or technical college can still find scholarships they are eligible for. While there may be fewer possibilities, there are still plenty of awards.

For example, the Columbus Promise provides free tuition to students who are attending Columbus State Community College. You can also get fees covered and receive a $500 stipend per semester. Students need to complete the FAFSA and an additional form to be eligible.

If you already have a school in mind to attend, you should reach out to their financial aid department and figure out how to qualify for their institutional scholarships and grants. And like with any other type of student, you should still complete the FAFSA. Many types of financial aid, including grants and loans, are available to two-year students.

Are Ohio scholarships available for graduate or professional students?

Every year, countless graduate and professional students miss out on scholarships because they assume they're not eligible. And while most scholarships are only for undergraduate students, there are still tons of opportunities for those in a graduate or professional school program.

For example, Michael E. Moritz Merit Scholarships in Law are given to incoming first-year law school students at The Ohio State University. This is a full tuition award that also includes a $2,500 stipend. Students will also receive a professional mentor to help guide them through law school.

Are there specific Ohio scholarships for certain majors or degrees?

While many scholarships are open to students with any major, some are only designed for those with specific interests. For example, the Ohio News Media Association Scholarships are awarded to students who are majoring in a newspaper-related degree, including journalism, communications, marketing or advertising.

There are three types of scholarships available:

  1. Minority Journalism Scholarship - for minority students
  2. Ohio High School Journalism Scholarship - for incoming freshmen
  3. Ohio News Media Foundation University Journalism Scholarship - for current college students

Each of the three aforementioned scholarships is worth $1,000.

If you already have a specific major or industry in mind, you should try searching for that field plus the words “Ohio scholarship” to see what opportunities come up. Many local or state professional organizations offer scholarships for promising students.

Can I get an Ohio scholarship if I’m an international student?

International students interested in studying at an Ohio university may be able to find scholarships, though it will be harder.

International students do not qualify for traditional types of financial aid, but they still have options. For example, Ohio State University lets international students apply for associate and fellowship positions. They also have their own scholarships just for international students.

When applying to school, make sure you talk to the office of financial aid, as well as the department responsible for international students. They may have more suggestions on how you can qualify for aid.

Some schools only provide scholarships for international students if they have demonstrated financial need. They may ask you to provide information about your and your family’s finances to show how much you can afford to pay for school.

What is the GPA requirement for an Ohio scholarship?

A basic rule of thumb states that the typical GPA requirement for a scholarship is 3.0. However, this depends on the specific scholarship. Scholarships that are more focused on providing need- based aid may have lower requirements, while those focused on merit-based aid may have higher requirements.

For example, the Iota Sigma Pi BP Scholarship has a 3.4 GPA requirement for graduating high school seniors. This is slightly higher than what many scholarships ask for.

On the other hand, the Arnold W. Fritz Scholarship is given to a student who has a strong interest in environmental issues. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. There is only a 2.5 GPA requirement.

Some scholarships may also have different GPA requirements depending on your year in school. For example, they may have a higher GPA standard for high school students than for college students.

If you’re worried about having a low GPA, make sure that you provide a solid essay and strong letters of recommendation. Having adults who can speak to your interests and passions can make up for a less-than-stellar GPA.