State Grants for Ohio College Students

The state of Ohio has several state grants and financial aid programs available to students who decide to attend college in the state. Below, we’ve detailed some of these awards, how you can apply, and where you can find further information on financial aid programs and attending college in Ohio.

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Ohio State Grants

1. Choose Ohio First Scholarship

The Choose Ohio First Scholarship is designed to help increase the number of STEM teachers and experts within the state. It’s available for those pursuing a certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or graduate degree in eligible fields or for those aiming to teach in a STEM-related subject.

The award is granted based on need and merit by the participating college. To apply, students must

  • Reach out to their school regarding its application process if it is a participating college.
  • Be enrolled in one of the college’s Choose Ohio First programs of study for the first time.
  • Meet the college’s eligibility requirements.
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2. Ohio College Opportunity Grant

The Ohio College Opportunity Grant, or OCOG, is for students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amount the award grants depends on the school the student is attending and their enrollment status (full-time vs part-time).

Students need to:

  • Be attending an Ohio college or university. Note, some Pennsylvania colleges are also eligible.
  • Complete their FAFSA by October 1st. For the 2023-24 award year, applications are due by October 1, 2023.
  • Be enrolled in an associate degree, first bachelor’s degree, or nurse diploma program.
  • Meet the requirements for the EFC/SAI.

3. College Comeback

Slightly different from other awards and programs, the College Comeback program is available for students who attended some college but did not graduate with a degree and have debt from their education. Institutions in the state can offer debt forgiveness in exchange for new tuition. 

The amount of debt relief and the name of the program does vary from school to school. At Hocking College, for instance, the program is known as the Debt Forgiveness Program and students can receive up to $3,000 in debt relief. At Shawnee State University, the program is called the Finish Line and students can receive up to $5,000.

Several colleges and universities within the state participate.

4. And More

Other grants, scholarships, and financial aid programs in Ohio include

  • Ohio War Orphans and Severely Disabled Veterans’ Children Scholarship
  • Ohio Safety Officers Memorial Fund
  • Ohio Hidden Heroes
  • Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program
  • John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
  • Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program
  • Second Chance Grant
  • Forever Buckeyes

Where Can You Find More Information on Ohio State Grants?

Additional information on the grants and financial aid programs listed above can be found on the Ohio Department of Higher Education website, specifically under Paying for College. The website also contains resources for educational access and accessibility, education opportunities, workforce preparation and development, and more.

Affording college can be a serious point of stress for students and families. But one way to get free money is to apply for scholarships! Many of these awards have few applicants, too, which means if you don’t apply, you could be missing out on free and easy cash. With our Scholarship Search Tool, it’s easy to find scholarships, too! Use it for free here.


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