18:00 PM

Ohio State increases financial aid by $50 million

The Ohio State University today announced a $50 million increase in student financial aid over the next four years. The initiatives include new scholarships and grants that will help additional students attend the university each year.

Ohio State provost Joseph Alutto outlined the initiatives as part of a presentation to the university's Board of Trustees on a plan to guide the university to become a top ten public comprehensive research university within the next ten years.

The plan includes a new merit scholarship program - Ohio State's most prestigious yet - and increased grants to financially needy students.

The new scholarship program, "Eminence Scholars," provides four-year, full ride scholarships, plus a $3,000 one-time stipend to 50 highly qualified students annually. The award is being offered for the first time this year to high-achieving high school seniors.

In addition, the university is increasing aid by one third for students eligible for the university's "Scarlet and Gray" grants. The increase will allow the university to help additional students, and will boost awards from $3,000 to $4,000. These grants are now available to approximately 7,800 financially qualified incoming freshmen, as well as sophomores, juniors and seniors.

"These are huge, strategic investments that Ohio State is making, and the university is investing in students," said Dolan Evanovich, vice president for strategic enrollment planning. "With the Eminence Scholarships, we are attracting the best and brightest students to Ohio State. And with the increase in the Scarlet and Gray grants, we are working to attract and retain students, helping to insure their success."

Award notification letters for both programs have been mailed to students over the last week.

The initiatives will be funded through cost savings and new funding streams that allow Ohio State to invest in student scholarships.

Evanovich says the two initiatives permit Ohio State to fulfill its Land Grant and flagship missions at the same time, and not at the expense of either.

The Eminence Scholarship allows Ohio State to enroll the best students from Ohio and across the country. Forty of the 50 scholarships will go to Ohio high school students, and ten to students from beyond Ohio. Eminence Scholar requirements are rigorous. Those eligible to be considered rank in the top three percent of their graduating classes and have ACT composite scores of 34 or higher. The stipend will help the scholars to design a research project in collaboration with a faculty member, defray the cost of study abroad experience or pursue other opportunities.

In addition to full financial support, Eminence Scholars will benefit from individual advising and mentoring, exposure to research opportunities and help in securing funding, networking opportunities with key university faculty and staff, and special programming, all intended to help recipients develop their talents and launch them toward graduate study, professional school, or the start of an extraordinary career.

The expansion of the Scarlet and Gray grants allows the university to provide access to additional students who are often low- or moderate- income or first in their family to go to college. It provides access to freshmen but also helps upper class students stay enrolled.

The grants will also assist more families with higher incomes than in previous years. For example, last year the average family income eligible for Scarlet and Gray grants stopped at $60,516.With the additional funds, the university will be able to assist a new group of families with average family incomes up to $67,914 (for a family of four with one in college).

For additional information, see: http://sfa.osu.edu

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 56,000 students enrolled at its main Columbus campus, 14 colleges and 170 majors, the university offers its students exceptional breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions. The university awards approximately $100 million in institutional scholarships and grants each year and recently completed a $116 million fundraising campaign for future student support. More than 80 percent of incoming freshman receive financial aid in the form of grants, loans and/or scholarships.