COLUMBUS - Ohio State University is trying to reach out to perspective students across the state, including northwest Ohio, by offering new, full-ride scholarships to one student in each of the state's 88 counties.
The unusual scholarships, which total nearly $1.5 million, were announced yesterday at OSU, where officials said they're focusing their efforts on low-income, high-ability students in an attempt to give them a chance to attend college.
The scholarship package, which will cover tuition and other expenses such as books, room and board, and transportation, is worth up to $17,000 annually per recipient and will be added onto the student's federal and state grant money. It will be renewable for up to 12 quarters as long as the student maintains a 3.2 GPA and attends school full time. Tuition at OSU is $7,506 this school year.
"We really felt that if we were going to do this, we wanted to be able to say to the student that for four years we're going to make this available to you," said Mabel Freeman, assistant vice president for undergraduate admissions at OSU.
Hundreds of letters were being sent out this week to students who might qualify for the scholarships, including those who already have been admitted to the university. For consideration, students must apply for admission to Ohio State by Feb. 1 and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms by March 1.
They also must be qualified academically and come from homes where the income is less than $40,000 annually.
In northwest Ohio, the impact of the new scholarships won't be as great in areas like Lucas County, where a larger number of students will be vying for the money - and where a higher number of residents historically attend the school.
But in areas like Paulding County, the smallest county in northwest Ohio, the new scholarship will have a more noticeable impact.
Karen Schlatter, head guidance counselor at Paulding High School, said the county has only three high schools, and only five students from the last graduating class are attending OSU this school year.
"It sounds like an awesome opportunity if they're offering one for every county," she said.
She likened the program to one in place at Northwest State Community College near Archbold, Ohio. Ms. Schlatter said the two-year college offers full rides to students in a six-county area who have certain grade-point and ACT scores.
Ms. Freeman said it is possible that OSU will not have recipients in some counties. If that's the case, she said the money will be applied to help students in larger areas where the competition is greater.
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