Choose Ohio First | FAQs for Parents & Students

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Choose Ohio First? 

Choose Ohio First is an initiative put forth by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to bolster support for the next generation of Ohio STEMM scholars and industry-leaders. Participating institutions award scholarships to students based on need and merit. For more information, re-visit our Overview page or consult this informational flyer:

Why STEMM in Ohio? 

Ohio's economic future relies on a well-trained and economically competitive workforce. Maintaining America's scientific and technological leadership is essential not only to Ohio's economic growth, but also to our national security and a productive future for the country as a whole. Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine education will help create the talent needed to make Ohio's businesses competitive in the 21st century knowledge economy.

STEM disciplines teach students to think critically and solve complex problems – crucial skills and knowledge necessary to help create the innovations of the future and ensure better jobs for Ohioans.

Who is eligible for Choose Ohio First? 

Students enrolled in STEMM programs at participating institutions. For a list of colleges and universities involved with Choose Ohio First – and their corresponding programs – please visit the Participating Programs page under our Higher Education Institutions tab. 

How are Choose Ohio First scholars chosen? 

Institutions award scholarships, therefore the application process goes through them. For further information on your program’s guidelines and application process, consult their Choose Ohio First site. Links to programs sites can be found through the Higher Education Institutions tab. 

Which institutions are part of Choose Ohio First? 

Please refer to the Participating Institutions page under the Higher Education Institutions tab. 

When and how can I apply for Choose Ohio First? 

Visit your institution's Choose Ohio First site for their application materials. You may consult the Choose Ohio First timeline under the Higher Education Institutions tab for greater insight into COF deadlines and process. 

How do the scholarships work? 

Scholarships are awarded by institution. Consult each school's COF site to learn about their application requirements. You can locate schools via our Higher Education Institutions tab. For a more general understanding of the scholarship process, go to the Request for Proposals section, which is also located under the Higher Education Institutions tab. 

If a Choose Ohio First scholar changes their major to another STEMM Code, but it is not a Code listed on the award agreement, can the institution amend the award agreement?

No, the CIP code must be on the original proposal. Institutions should communicate this to scholars before confirming a transfer.  

Can students be awarded COF funding during the summer semester? 

Yes, funds can be awarded and must be the minimum amount of award per Ohio Revised Code. 

Are College Credit Plus (CCP) students eligible for COF funding? 

Yes, scholars with CCP credits entering a degree pathway as first time, newly enrolled students to the institution are elligble for COF.