Many students rely on scholarships from to assist in financing their education. In light of the economic recession, university officials are fielding a number of questions from students and parents about scholarships.
Here are answers from university financial experts and administrators to some of the most frequently asked questions.
How many scholarships does Ohio University award annually?
During the 2007-08 school year, the most recent for which a total is available, the university provided 7,594 scholarships. Of those, 5,362 were awarded through the general operating budget, 2,132 through the university's endowment and 100 through various departments.
Are any students who currently hold scholarships in danger of losing them or seeing the amounts they receive reduced?
Students already awarded scholarships can be assured that the awards they have been pledged will be honored. That includes students with scholarships covering multiple years.
Alumni and friends have been and continue to be highly supportive of scholarships and the university in general. We are confident that through development/fundraising efforts, we will continue to find strong support for Ohio University scholarships.
How has the university's endowment been affected by the recent economic downturn?
The endowment is a compilation of assets invested to provide for the ongoing support of the university. Donations to the endowment generate earnings that provide funding for scholarships and an array of other university offerings.
The endowment was down 23.9 percent as of November 2008. The university's next actual calculations and benchmarks will be determined by mid-February and should coincide with the release of Gov. Strickland's state budget that will come out in early February. University officials will work to find solutions to any impact that may be realized at that time.
How do Ohio University's endowment losses compare to those of other schools?
The impact on investment income is a result of the global economic situation. We have been advised by our investment consultants that the performance of the university's endowment has been commensurate with that of other similar institutions' endowments.
Ohio University's endowment losses were reduced somewhat because The Ohio University Foundation has diversified its endowment investments over the past several years.
How will potential losses affect future endowment scholarship funding?
There may be some long-term effect on future students. But the university will honor commitments that have already made.
Does the university anticipate cuts to scholarships supported by the general fund in the next year?
Scholarships are a priority in the budgeting process, and university officials are optimistic that the university will be able to maintain its current level of general fund scholarship funding.
What has the university done to hold down costs in order to make scholarship funding a priority?
While higher education has been spared for the most part in this year's state budget cuts, we still must respond to our investment shortfall and prepare for a potential state reduction. To help prepare, the university implemented a university-wide hiring freeze in September. In addition, many academic and academic support units across the university have put other measures in place, including halting nonessential travel and nonessential equipment purchases, slowing operating budget expenditures and conserving resources by practicing energy efficiency measures.
At Ohio University, university-wide efforts are under way to limit expenditures and protect resources needed to support our academic mission of undergraduate education, select graduate programs, and distinctive areas of research, as well as the services central to achieving our mission.
Who should students contact if they have questions about scholarships?
General scholarship questions should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Visit the office's Web site at www-sfa.chubb.ohiou.edu/html/ or call 740-593-4141.