Ohio: Scholarships & Grants for Students

You may start your search for financial aid by completing the FAFSA® to claim your federal financial aid, but your research shouldn’t stop there. Students attending school in Ohio will find many additional opportunities for aid at the state level, including the following grants, scholarships, loans, and programs.

Forever Buckeyes Program

The Forever Buckeyes Program is a distinct type of aid for Ohio residents. Individuals who left the state but return for college qualify for assistance through this program. Students can attend any public institution of higher education in the state, including four-year schools, community colleges, and technical colleges.

Undergraduate and graduate students can apply, but students must have completed high school in the state and have been Ohio residents when they graduated. This program isn’t a scholarship or grant. Rather, the program extends the in-state tuition rate to qualified individuals attending an Ohio college.

Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG)

This program provides aid for Ohio residents who demonstrate significant financial need. The state determines financial need based on the information potential recipients provide in the FAFSA®. Additional eligibility requirements include attending an approved college or university in the state. Note that students at community colleges or vocational schools are ineligible for this award.

The total you can receive through this grant depends on your enrollment status, whether you’re attending a public or private school, and which college or university you’re attending. You can only receive aid through this program for a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters.

The state of Ohio has its own deadline for state aid.


October 1st, 2020 by midnight CT. This is the deadline for state aid.

Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund

In Ohio, the children and spouses of safety officers — such as police officers and firefighters — killed in the line of duty may receive college aid through this program. Full- and part-time students are eligible as long as they’re Ohio residents.

The Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund also applies to the dependents of military service members killed during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom or in a designated combat zone. However, students who already receive the Ohio War Orphans Scholarship are ineligible for this program. For the 2017–2018 academic year, the fund covered all instructional and general fee charges at public colleges and universities. Students at private and proprietary schools may receive $7,044 per year.

Ohio War Orphans Scholarship

The Ohio War Orphans Scholarship helps children of deceased or disabled veterans who served during a time of war pay for college. Recipients must be younger than 25 years old and meet other eligibility criteria, such as enrolling at a participating college or school in the state and attending college full time. Award amounts vary depending on academic achievement and financial need. Students at public schools may receive an amount that covers up to 90 percent of tuition and general fees. Those attending private institutions may receive a maximum amount of $6,398 per year.

Choose Ohio First Scholarship

This program extends one of several scholarships available exclusively to Ohio residents. The Choose Ohio First Scholarship provides aid to qualifying students studying in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields. Individuals receive these awards based on academic merit and must be enrolled full time. Scholarship amounts range between $1,500 and $4,700 per year.

Ohio National Guard Scholarship

Members of the Ohio National Guard who attend college in the state may receive a full scholarship covering 100 percent of tuition costs. The total credit hours that the program pays for depends on how long the recipient has been enlisted. For example, a student who served for a minimum of six years can receive a scholarship that pays for 12 full-time quarters or eight full-time semesters. A member who enlisted for three to six years is entitled to an award covering six full-time quarters or four full-time semesters.

Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program

Part- and full-time students enrolled in an accredited nursing program at an eligible school in the state may receive assistance through the Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NELAP). The maximum award is $1,500 per academic year. The amount each recipient receives depends on the expected family contribution. The loan is a service-cancelable loan, meaning individuals who go on to serve as full-time nurses in Ohio for at least five years don’t have to pay back any of the loans.

Geological Survey Grant Program

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological Survey provides grants to students studying earth science at an Ohio college or university. The program, which awarded two $2,500 grants for the 2017–2018 academic year, helps cover costs related to graduate-level research. The program selects applicants based on application quality, references, and strength of research proposals.

Students in Ohio have many options for financial aid at the state level. Complete the FAFSA® and apply for additional aid from the grants, loans, scholarships, and programs listed above.