Choose Ohio First | FAQs for Parents & Students

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Choose Ohio First? 

Choose Ohio First is an initiative put forth by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to support the next generation of Ohio STEM scholars and industry leaders. Participating institutions award scholarships to students based on need and merit. For more information, re-visit our Overview page located here. Multiple-year scholarships are possible provided scholars maintain compliance with program requirements and funding continues through the Ohio General Assembly.

2. Why STEM 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. STEM disciplines (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) 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.

3. Who is eligible for Choose Ohio First? 

  • Ohio residents seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree, or a certificate in an eligible STEM field of study; and
  • Students must enroll in one of the school's eligible Choose Ohio First programs of study; and
  • Students must be new to the program of study at the school (this includes students currently enrolled in a non-STEM program who decide to transfer/change majors into a STEM program); and
  • Students must meet the school's eligibility criteria. 

4. How are Choose Ohio First scholars chosen? 

Institutions award individual scholarships. Please consult a Choose Ohio First staff member at the institution of your choice. A contact list can be found here.

5. Which institutions are part of Choose Ohio First? 

6. When and how can I apply for Choose Ohio First? 

  • First, check FAQ #3 above to make sure you meet eligibility requirements.
  • Each participating school has its own application process. Visit the Participating Institutions page to see who to contact at your intended school for more information.
  • Finally, apply!

7. What can I expect if I am chosen as a Choose Ohio First scholar?

Once a student receives a Choose Ohio First Scholarship, they become immersed in a cohort model with wrap-around student support services, such as built-in academic and career advising, mentoring, and cohort seminars and events. All Choose Ohio First Scholars are required to complete a work-based learning experiences, such as an internship, co-op, research experience, or other work-based learning experience.

8. Can students be awarded COF funding during the summer semester? 


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


10. If I have a COF scholarship at one school and then I transfer to another school that offers COF, can my scholarship transfer?

Choose Ohio First student scholarship awards are determined by the campus, not by ODHE. Students who are transferring should contact their transfer school to inquire about a COF scholarship for a transfer student.