Choose Ohio First | FAQs for Parents & Students

Overview Participating Institutions FAQs Success Resources


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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 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.

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, 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? 

  • Undergraduate Ohio residents or Ohio residents returning to Ohio for graduate school after completing undergraduate studies in other states or countries
  • Scholars enrolled in full-time or part-time study
  • First year students only (first time degree-seeking at the institution) at the date of initial COF cohort awards (subsequent years of funding are possible, provided scholars maintain compliance with program requirements and funding continues through the Ohio General Assembly).
  • Student must major in one of the school’s eligible COF programs of study (see here for a complete list of participating schools and programs).
  • Former College Credit Plus (CCP) students are welcome to apply.

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.

Which institutions are part of Choose Ohio First? 

When and how can I apply for Choose Ohio First? 

First, check to make sure you meet eligibility requirements.

Next, check out the 40 COF campuses, offering 111 COF programs, here:

Then, contact the applicable Program Directors and learn how to apply.

Finally, apply!

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 advising, mentoring, co-op and internship opportunities, cohort seminars and events, and research events.

If a Choose Ohio First scholar changes their major to another STEM 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? 

Scholars are allowed to receive funding for summer terms, provided their annual tuition needs meet the minimum annual award amount of $1,500. This minimum can be distributed in any amount between summer, fall, and spring terms (per compliance with ORC 3333.66).

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

Former College Credit Plus (CCP) students are eligible for COF funding because COF considers them first time, first year students as they were not degree seeking when they were enrolled in CCP classes.  

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 and are seeking to carry their scholarship with them should contact their transfer school to inquire about a COF scholarship for a transfer student.