Choose Ohio First Scholarship

$20,000–$60,000Award Amount
1Number of Awards
3/1/2023Submission Deadline

Explore Similar Scholarships

Grade Level:

The Ohio Department of Higher Education created the Choose Ohio First Scholarship program in an effort to boost Ohio’s economic strength by securing a ready workforce for STEM-related industries. The program was inaugurated in 2009, and since then, hundreds of non-traditional students including veterans, full-time workers, low-income, and first-generation students have been awarded scholarships.

The program is designed to strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness within STEM disciplines and impact the state’s position in world markets such as medicine, aerospace, and information technology. The Department of Higher Education funds higher institutions in Ohio to support students enrolled in innovative academic programs in the STEM field.

Annually, Ohio student residents may apply to the universities and colleges participating in this program and receive scholarships to study for a certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, or graduate degree. The scholarship funds per student vary depending on the course of study, the type of degree, and the institution.

Key Information of Choose Ohio First Scholarship

Study Details

Area of Study

  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology

Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate
  • Vocational/Technical School

Award Amount


Number of Awards


Choose Ohio First Scholarship Timeline

October 2022

Applications Opening Date

Applications open on October 1.

March 2023

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is on March 1.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: High School Senior – Postgraduate
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: Any
  • Geographic Eligibility: Ohio, United States
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Financial Information
  • Standardized Test Scores
  • Short Answers
  • Grade transcript

How to ace the Choose Ohio First Scholarship


Complete FAFSA as soon as possible

Some universities request a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as proof of financial need. Fill out the application and have it ready for submission alongside your scholarship application.


Use a recent transcript

Submit a transcript that reflects your most recent grades, including college credits if you have any. Also, submit an official transcript with your school's logo or a school authority's signature, if you can.


Take on STEM courses

For high school student applicants, consider registering for AP STEM classes. Maintaining high grades in advanced-level STEM classes could give your application a boost.


Reach out to listed contacts

Each participating institution has a contact for students to reach out for additional information. If you are confused about applying or have any questions, visit the website of the university you are applying in, get the contact for COF scholarships, and reach out to them.

How the Choose Ohio First Scholarship is Judged

Recipients of this scholarship are selected based on need and merit. Some designated COF programs award scholarships to underrepresented groups in STEM, such as women and minorities.

Why We Love the Choose Ohio First Scholarship


Scholarships are renewable

Applicants may receive scholarships for multiple years, provided they keep meeting the eligibility requirements.


CCP students can apply

Students who are participating in the College Credit Plus program are also eligible to receive the scholarship.


Recipients may receive external funding

Scholarship recipients may receive additional financial aid from other sources, provided the financial aid does not come as a fully-funded scholarship.

5 Facts About The Choose Ohio First Scholarship


Deadlines and GPA requirements may vary

The application deadline and GPA requirements may differ; it's better to select your preferred institution and get its details on applying for a COF scholarship.


Students must be new to their programs

Students must be newly enrolled in the STEM course they choose to study and it includes those who change majors to a STEM program to be eligible.


Scholars must complete work-based learning experiences

All COF scholars are required to complete an internship, research, or other work-based learning experiences during their enrollment in the program.


Scholarship decisions are made by participating institutions

Annually, each participating college and university makes individual decisions on which scholarship applicants attending the institution will be awarded scholarships.


Available STEM programs vary by institution

While all participating institutions offer STEM courses, each institution's list of available STEM programs varies; visit the participating institutions xpage on the scholarship website for details.

Stanley R. Arnold Scholarship

The scholarship, sponsored by New England State and Local Tax Forum, is awarded to one student enrolled in a qualifying tax program, pursuing MST, J.D., or LL.M degrees.

Scholarships awarded
1 winner
Required GPA
July 1
Winner announcement
August 2023

Believe in Ohio Statewide STEM Scholarship

High school students are awarded $1,000 to $2,500 for winning the Believe in Ohio STEM Plan Competition and Scholarship Program. The award is intended to pursue undergraduate degrees in STEM-related fields.

Scholarships awarded
4 winners
Required GPA
June 1