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Thursday, September 22, 2005
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Ohio University initiative lessens financial burden for prospective students

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 23, 2005) -- Ohio University is continuing and expanding its successful Gateway Award Program, a financial aid program for prospective students that blends merit-based scholarships and need-based grants. The program is designed to provide access to higher education while recognizing scholastic achievement.

Ohio University provided over $7 million in aid to more than 50 percent of the nearly 4,200 students in the 2005 freshman class. These awards ranged from $500 to $8,000 -- covering full in-state tuition -- and blended merit-based scholarships with need-based grants. Many of these scholarships were provided by the Gateway Award Program in its inaugural year.

The Gateway Excellence Scholarship, the fall 2006 program's premier award, provides more than 100 students with four-year renewable merit-based scholarships valued at in-state tuition. Five other types of awards are available through the program, including a $4500 non-resident surcharge discount, a one-time $750 residence and dining hall discount and the Ohio University Bobcat Grant for students with the highest demonstrated financial need.

"This program emphasizes Ohio University's commitment to helping prevent cost from becoming a barrier for students to attend the university and achieve a quality education," Ohio University President Roderick McDavis said. "This program is unique in that it balances both merit-based and need-based support for students, many of whom may not have previously qualified for scholarships or financial aid."

First-year students who will begin their college careers at the Athens campus in fall 2006 are eligible to be considered for Gateway Awards. To qualify for consideration, prospective students must apply and be admitted to Ohio University by Feb. 1, 2006, with an ACT score of at least 25 (or a comparable SAT score), and must have forwarded their financial aid information from FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by March 15, 2006. To meet this deadline, students should complete the FAFSA by Feb. 15, 2006.

Many of the scholarship and/or grant packages are renewable for up to four years, with varying criteria depending on the type of Gateway Award received. Some students will qualify for both merit-based and need-based support.

Information on the Gateway Award Program is available online at www.ohio.edu/admissions/gateway or by calling (740) 593-4100.


Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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