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Ohio State increases aid and scholarships to support access and affordability

Hannah Jones always knew she would be a Buckeye.

When she was a middle-school student in Dayton, Jones said, a classroom assignment showed her heart was bound for The Ohio State University.

“We wrote little letters to ourselves when we were in eighth grade and my letter said, ‘I hope I’m going to Ohio State,’” she said.

Jones’ dream will come true this fall thanks to her Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship.

“I wasn’t actually planning on (going to college). This helped because I don’t have a lot of money saved up,” she said.

It also means she can concentrate on her academics. Jones plans to major in early childhood education and pre-law.

“I’m in a scholars program next year at Ohio State, and we have to do community service. That takes up a lot of my time. Getting that full tuition takes away a lot of that pressure,” she said.

Beginning in the fall, the university will expand the  Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship program to cover the full cost of attendance, including room, board, books and other costs. Ohio State will also double the size of the program next year, making the scholarship available to two students from each Ohio county per year – a total of 176 scholarships.

“Expanding the Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship Program is part of Ohio State’s commitment to help more students realize the dream of earning a college degree,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron.

The Land Grant Scholarship will help Ayanna Williams attend Ohio State

In addition, the university is committing $25 million to the President’s Affordability Grant program, providing even more support for middle- and lower-income residents, including those enrolled at regional campuses.

Entering its third year, the affordability grant program will have provided a total of $60 million in need-based grants. The support for the grants comes through cost savings across the university.

Additional student support offered by the university include

  • The Morrill Scholars Program, one of the largest of its kind, reaching 300 high school seniors each year
  • The Eminence Fellows Program, offering the full cost of attendance for four years and a $3,000 enrichment grant
  • The Young Scholars Program, which has aided more than 3,000 students from the state’s largest urban public school districts over the last 30 years.

The university is also a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, which aims to increase the number of talented middle- and lower-income students at top-performing institutions by 50,000 over the next decade. And Ohio State is a charter participant in the University Innovation Alliance, a partnership of 11 public universities working to ensure more students earn a college degree.

For Cambridge High School graduate Ayanna Williams, the Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship means she will be the first in her family to attend college.

“I’m from a poorer family so I wasn’t sure I could even go to college,” she said.

Williams said receiving the scholarship helped boost her belief in herself.

“I feel like I’m an average student. But when I got (the scholarship), I felt like, ‘wow, maybe I have something to offer,’” she said.

Williams wants to major in psychology and is looking forward to the opportunities at Ohio State.

“I really hope to join a bunch of the school clubs, meet new friends and get some chances I wouldn’t get here at home,” she said.

Jones said she is also looking forward to starting school in the fall. For now, she’ll have to settle for being the center of attention at home.

“It’s a huge deal for my family. My grandmother tells everyone, ‘Hannah got full tuition at Ohio State.’”