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OHIO Excellence Awards Frequently Asked Questions

The OHIO Excellence Awards are part of Ohio University’s commitment to support our students from admission to graduation and beyond, forever. The program is composed of several supportive, renewable scholarships and grants that recognize the resilience, accomplishments and diverse contributions of the fall 2024 entering first-year class.

 

Who is eligible for consideration for OHIO Excellence Awards?

All first-year students who are new to the Athens campus of Ohio University in fall 2024 are eligible for consideration for OHIO Excellence Awards scholarships and grants. All incoming first-year students who apply by the early action deadline of November 15, 2023, and earn admission will be considered for the program automatically. Applicants who submit a complete application, including the application form and all required supporting materials, after November 15, 2023, will be considered for all University scholarships, as availability permits.

How can I be considered for the OHIO Excellence Awards?

All incoming first-year students who apply by the early action deadline of November 15, 2023, and earn admission will be considered automatically for OHIO Excellence Awards. Applicants who submit a complete application, including the application form and all required supporting materials, after November 15, 2023, are considered for all University scholarships, as availability permits. This scholarship program includes generous merit-based scholarships, supportive need-based grants and a set of awards unique to Ohio University that blend both merit- and need-based criteria. To be considered for the need-based awards, the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be received by Ohio University by the FAFSA first-priority date, which has been extended to at least March 1, 2024. Students may be considered for need-based aid on a rolling basis after FAFSA priority date. No separate form is required.

What is the OHIO Admission Promise and how do I qualify?

The OHIO Admission Promise for fall 2024 ensures general University admission for first-year applicants who apply by the extended deadline of March 1, 2024, have earned a minimum 3.0 grade-point average on a strong college prep curriculum, and whose FAFSA results are received by OHIO by the FAFSA first-priority date, which has been extended to at least March 1, 2024. Once applicants have met those criteria, the $2,000 renewable OHIO Admission Promise Award is awarded automatically. Renewal of the OHIO Admission Promise Award requires completion of the FAFSA each year by the priority date.

How are standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) used in determining eligibility for OHIO Excellence Awards?

All admitted students, including test-optional applicants, will receive full consideration for scholarships and grants at OHIO. If available, test scores are considered for the Russ Vision Award. For all other OHIO Excellence Awards, standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) will be considered only if doing so increases a student’s award eligibility. If tests are not present, or if a student’s award eligibility would be stronger without including tests that are on file, test scores will be not be considered.

How are the scholarships and grants awarded?

Merit scholarships are based on information that Undergraduate Admissions collected when you submitted the 2024-2025 Application for Admission and Scholarships (and supporting materials).  OHIO may continue to make scholarship awards using updated credentials received after the FAFSA first-priority date on an individual basis. Need-based awards are determined by the results of your FAFSA, which must be received by the first-priority date. Comprehensive financial aid offers, which OHIO intends to begin sending on a rolling basis beginning in April, will include federal, state and institutional aid in addition to merit-based scholarships.

How will Ohio University determine the grade-point average to use for merit–based award consideration?

The highest cumulative high school grade-point average, weighted or unweighted, standardized to 4.0 scale, will be considered. OHIO will recalculate non-standard GPAs to a 4.0 scale as needed.

How will I find out if I have received an OHIO Excellence Award?

You will be notified by postal mail when you have been awarded an OHIO Excellence Award. Notification of merit-based scholarship awards will be sent to admitted students on a rolling basis beginning in December. If, based on your FAFSA, you are eligible for any need-based awards, including those that blend merit and need, you will be notified in your comprehensive financial aid offer, which OHIO intends to begin sending on a rolling basis in April. This aid offer will include federal, state and other institutional financial aid.

If my scholarship award notification indicates that I have received an OHIO Excellence Award, how will I accept it?

Award recipients must submit their housing contracts (or commuter application) and housing deposit on or before May 15, 2024, (extended!) to accept the award; that process begins in December at www.ohio.edu/admitted. Program funding for recipients who submit their housing contracts and deposits after May 15, 2024, will be contingent on availability.

My family was not planning to submit a FAFSA because we did not expect to qualify for federal aid. Should I still submit a FAFSA?

Yes! Ohio University must receive your FAFSA results by the first-priority date, which has been extended to at least March 1, 2024, if you would like to be considered for the OHIO Admission Promise Award. Admitted students whose FAFSA results are received after the FAFSA priority date will be considered for need-based OHIO Excellence Awards as availability permits.

When can I submit the FAFSA?

The U.S. Department of Education plans to launch the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in December 2023. Submit the FAFSA at fafsa.gov using 2022 tax data and include Ohio University’s school code: 003100.

Which awards can I be considered for as an out-of-state student?

Out-of-state students are eligible to be considered for most OHIO Excellence Awards. The OHIO Trustee Award is a special scholarship that is available only to out-of-state students and is awarded in addition to other OHIO Excellence Awards for which you may qualify. International students are eligible to be considered for the merit-based portions of the OHIO Excellence Awards, with the exception of the OHIO Admission Promise Award, which requires submission of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

I have already received a letter indicating that I have been awarded a different scholarship. How do the OHIO Excellence Awards affect me?

Students receiving full tuition (instructional fees) awards through Ohio University Educational Benefits, full athletic scholarships and Cutler Scholar awards are not eligible for OHIO Excellence Awards. Appalachian Scholars and Urban Scholars are eligible to be considered for the OHIO Forward Award only. Recipients of the OHIO Premier Scholarship or Templeton Scholars Award are eligible to be considered for the OHIO Trustee Award only. Recipients of the District of Columbia (D.C.) Tuition Assistance Grant or the OHIO Next Generation Award are not eligible for the OHIO Trustee Award unless participating in the DC-CAP Scholars Program. Additional restrictions may apply, and the program is subject to change. For renewal criteria, please refer to your scholarship award notification. 

Which awards are renewable, and what are the renewal criteria?

All OHIO Excellence Awards are renewable for up to four consecutive years of undergraduate study (two semesters per academic year). Most awards require students to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. Please note that a student must complete an average of 15 hours per semester to graduate within four academic years. Renewal criteria vary by individual award. Please refer to your scholarship award notification for the details specific to your award(s). Renewal of the OHIO Admission Promise Award requires submission of the FAFSA each year by the priority date but does not require a minimum or maximum level of need for consideration. Merit-based awards have specific academic performance criteria for renewal, such as your OHIO grade-point average. Need-based awards, including those that are blended with merit, are renewable contingent upon continued demonstration of financial need via the results of the FAFSA. FAFSA results must be received annually by the priority date for priority consideration. Consequently, any need-based OHIO Excellence Awards may vary in amount each year.

Are other forms of financial assistance available?

Yes! Several other generous scholarships are available for first-year students. Comprehensive financial aid offers, which OHIO intends to begin sending on a rolling basis in April, will include any OHIO Excellence Awards in addition to any federal, state and other institutional aid for which you may qualify. 

If filing the FAFSA qualifies me for financial aid, including loans, do I have to accept the aid?

Filing the FAFSA is simply your application for federal, state and institutional aid at Ohio University. While filing a FAFSA is required to be considered for the $2,000 OHIO Admission Promise Award, you don't have to have financial need to be eligible for that scholarship. Families are not obligated to accept any other types of financial aid that might be offered, including loans.

Are the OHIO Excellence Awards available at OHIO's regional campuses?

The OHIO Excellence Awards are only offered on the Athens campus, but the OHIO Regional Advantage Awards program recognizes academic achievement within our regional communities and provides awards for fall 2024 incoming full-time freshmen.