New Choose Ohio First RFP Seeks to Provide Scholarships for STEM Programs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (2020-09-24) — 

At Governor Mike DeWine’s press briefing today, Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced a new Request for Proposals (RFP) that would provide funding to support scholarship programs in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The funding, part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s (ODHE) Choose Ohio First program, will boost Ohio’s efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce in the STEM fields while supporting an estimated 1,400 Ohio college students of all ages. More than $20 million would be awarded over the next five years.

Lt. Governor Husted, in his then-role as Speaker of the House, led the efforts to create the COF program in 2008. These awards continue his goal of increasing STEM enrollment and completion statewide.

“As Speaker, I initiated the Choose Ohio First program because the growing need for STEM skills was evident among Ohio employers,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “These skills are in even greater demand today as employers view them as essential to innovate and compete.”

“This new opportunity again demonstrates the commitment of Governor DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Husted, and the General Assembly to make Ohio’s workforce in STEM occupations among the best in the country,” said ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner. “This will bolster the Choose Ohio First program and give more Ohio students a springboard to a successful future.”

The Choose Ohio First scholarship program began in 2008 as a way to increase the number of Ohio students enrolling in and successfully completing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs at Ohio’s public and independent colleges and universities. This latest round of funding is part of a focused strategy to increase enrollment and completion across Ohio in the STEM fields.

Community colleges, independent four-year colleges and universities, and public four-year universities are eligible to receive funds, and can designate up to 45 STEM-eligible programs for funding. Chancellor Gardner said this range of school participation and program inclusion demonstrates the commitment of Ohio’s higher education community to respond to student interests and the state’s economic needs.

About the Ohio Department of Higher Education

The Ohio Department of Higher Education is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.

Contact Information: 

Ohio Department of Higher Education Contact:
Jeff Robinson
Office: 614.752.9487