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Urban Scholars Program


From the moment it was founded in 1804, Ohio University has been committed to providing quality education for students and to serving the needs of Ohio and the nation at large.


Today, some 17,000 undergraduate students come to Ohio University from all of Ohio's 88 counties, every state in the union, and more than 100 countries. These students have the opportunity to study in more than 250 majors with the instruction and support of nearly 870 full-time faculty. Ohio University strives to lead Ohio in providing transforming educational experiences for this incredibly diverse group.


Diversity at Ohio University is intentional—studies demonstrate that university students in diverse environments show greater intellectual and social self-confidence, critical thinking skills, and a greater growth of general knowledge than students who study in uniform environments.


Diversity is woven into our history—the fourth African American to earn a college degree graduated from Ohio University in 1828—and it continues to be necessary today as we develop well-rounded and educated students.


But now, more than ever, the university must do more to encourage diversity.


Increasing costs coupled with decreasing state support mean more of the financial burden of higher education is placed on students. The State of Ohio's average in-state tuition cost has increased by 13.4 percent on university main campuses over the past three years.


Urban school districts in Ohio serve a large portion of the state's economically disadvantaged and minority students. One survey demonstrated that nearly 50 percent of all college-qualified, low-income high school graduates cite cost factors as being a primary reason they do not go to college.


These students are forced to choose between amassing staggering debt or abandoning the dream of college.


And this cycle is self-perpetuating; the U.S. Census Bureau says that individuals with some college work earn about 22 percent more than those with only a high school diploma. With a bachelor's degree, individuals earn nearly 73 percent more than they would with a high school diploma.


However, these students face more than just financial barriers—they also might be the first in their family or community to attend college and lack the necessary support from their peers.


These factors contribute to a smaller percentage going on to college as well as to a more difficult transition into college life.


The Urban Scholars program was created to provide academically qualified students with the financial resources and the support system they need to seize their opportunity.


What is Provided


The Urban Scholars Program provides the following:

·       A four-year renewable scholarship;
·       An annual book stipend;
·       A summer pre-matriculation program;
·       Academic support seminars;
·       An annual leadership seminar;
·       A residential learning community;
·       Technology and research training.


Requirements & Selection


To be considered, applicants must:

·       Be academically talented as indicated by standardized test scores, grade point average, and class rank.


·       Participate in an Urban Scholars Program interview.


·       Demonstrate financial need with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) result of $8,000 or less as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


·       Have graduated from an urban school district in the State of Ohio.


·       Attend the Athens campus.


After students apply to the university, their application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are reviewed to see if they meet the eligibility criteria (after February 15th). Those students are sent a program description and application packet, which consists of two essays, two letters of recommendation and a personal profile form. After completing the application, prospective students will be invited to attend a scholarship interview. The scholarship selection committee reviews the applications and selects final candidates based on their application packet, academic credentials, and interview; the scholarship recipients are then notified of their award.


Click here to apply to the Urban Scholars Program