A new scholarship program is coming, one designed to provide an incentive to attend an Ohio college or university after high school.

The Governor’s Merit Scholarship was included in the most recent state budget – House Bill 33 – in an effort to increase the number of high-achieving high school graduates who remain in Ohio for college. A total of $20 million was appropriated for the first year of the program, which is open to graduating seniors in the top 5% of their class in the Class of 2024.

“With so many world-class higher education institutions in Ohio, we want to encourage all students to stay in-state as they continue their education and transition into careers,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio is truly the heart of opportunity, and we want all Ohioans to find the path that is right for them, right here at home.”

As part of the launch, an online portal has been created for school districts across the state to transmit information about their eligible students. The portal – found at meritscholarship.ohio.gov – will also accept applications from homeschool students. Students attending a public or chartered nonpublic high school do not need to apply for the Governor’s Merit Scholarship, as their eligibility will be determined by their school. Homeschool and dropout recovery high school students may qualify by completing a college admissions test and submitting an application through the portal.

The scholarship provides up to $5,000 per year, renewable for four years of full-time instruction. Funds can be applied to tuition and fees as well as other educational expenses such as books, equipment, and room and board. Students may use the scholarship at any public or private, nonprofit college or university in Ohio.

“With the Governor’s Merit Scholarship, we want to not only reduce any financial barriers that may impact a student’s decision to pursue higher education, but also recognize the impressive scholastic achievement of Ohio’s top graduates and incentivize them to attend a college or university here in Ohio,” said Chancellor Randy Gardner.

For students in the Class of 2024, the portal is expected to remain open through April 30, 2024.

More information is available online at meritscholarship.ohio.gov.

Source: Office of Governor DeWine; Image: DALL-E 3